Return to Transcripts main page


Trump, North Korea Threats Will Be Met With Fire And Fury; North Korea threatens Strike On U.S. Territory Of Guam; North Korea threatening Retaliation if U.S. Strikes; Aired 11-Midnight ET

Aired August 8, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:37] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: President Trump and Kim Jong-un in a heated war of words as a worried world watches. This is CNN tonight I am Don Lemon. North Korea putting out a threatening statement tonight including this quote, "once U.S. show as sign of starting to carry out the full hearted plot, we will launch the Korean-style preemptive retaliatory operation of justice to annihilate the masterminds of the thrice-cursed operation and all the criminals involved in it." that is in a wake of U.S. Intel that the rouge regime has produced a warhead that can fit inside the missile. President Trump responding by joining the redline, threatening Kim Jong-un with quote fire and fury like the world has never seen. So the President -- or President Trump vows of fire and fury, is it presidential or reckless and will they calm a situation that threatens to get more dangerous by the hour.

Let's talk about it now with CNN Alexandra Field live for us. She is In Seoul for us right now, Alexander hello to you. President Trump warned North Korea of the fire and fury if they continue to make threats. Just hours later North Korea threatens to target Guam with a preemptive strike in response to U.S. bomber flights over the Korean peninsula. What is the reaction there?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: yes that was really one threat in a barrage of threats. Another threat that threatens to turn U.S. mainland into a theater of nuclear war, but it wasn't an elaborate threat, it was rather specific, potentially warning that they could use their long and medium range missiles to strike Guam, a home for U.S. forces, a home for the B-1 and B-Bombers that have been flying over the Korean Peninsula, in training exercises that typically enrage the regime in North Korea.

What is really interesting Don is that one of the government ministries today was asked about the latest comments, these latest threats from North Korea and the response was this, that the words that were coming from state news and the people's army in North Korea were not helpful? I don't bring that up to minimize the severity of the security situation here much to the contrary. You have a President of this country who has been speaking repeatedly and even this morning about the need to build up defenses in South Korea, because of the mounting threat, but I bring up the point that they use this term not helpful, because it speaks to the frequency with which South Korean hear these kinds of threats from North Korea, threats of Nuclear war, threats of attack, threats of retaliation. So to some extent they know how to handle threats from Kim Jong-un. Yes, it does raise their level of concern. Yes, it does prompt the government to look at their defense capabilities. But many of the threats from North Korea ring hollow. The context has change North Korea proving they were capable of firing off those two intercontinental ballistic missiles just last month and an added intelligence assessment coming from the U.S. that it appears they may have this miniaturized war head that could be fitted to those missiles.

What are different from the people waking up from South Korea this morning are the threats that are coming from U.S. President Trump, incendiary threats. They're not used to hearing these kinds of threats from an American President. Frankly they don't know what exactly that could mean. I have never sensed in my time in working from Seoul, in this country that people here question or worried that the U.S. would ever abandoned its commitment to their defense but certainly there has been the growing concern that as the war of words escalates, there's the possibility for someone to misspeak or misstep and the people who live right in the city in the metropolitan area of more than 20 million people know they're the ones could be the first to pay the consequences of a grave mistake, Don.

LEMON: Alexandra Field for us in Seoul South Korea, Alexandra thank you very much for that. I want to bring in now CNN Political Commentator Margaret Hoover, Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, the author of Rightful Heritage, Franklyn D. Roosevelt and the land of America and also Laura Rosenberger who is a senior fellow at the German marshal fund and CNN Political Commentator Scott Jennings. Hello to all of you, Doug, I'm going to start with you but first I'm going to play the President today. Watch this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: North Korea best not make anymore threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.


[23:05:15] LEMON: So, Douglas, traditionally you see a U.S. President trying to turn the temperature down. That is not what is happening here. The President's comments today intentional, you think?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: I think they're intentional of what he was feeling in his gut that he felt humiliated. But he used apocalyptic language. It came off as kind of a blow hard here. He has the world sitting on the edge of their seats, filled with nervousness and anxiety on does this President's words mean anything? How does one interpret that? I think he owes us Don, President Trump to give an address to the nation, perhaps tomorrow night, where he can be a little more calm and tell us what actually is going on. What is this intelligence reports what are estimates of the miniaturized nuclear weapons there? We need more information from this President instead of these, sort of tweet-like outbursts that he gave at the conference today.

LEMON: Margaret Hover, what do you think is behind this strategy, the president's fire and fury warning here? Is he playing the bad cop role, you think?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: First, you call it a strategy. We don't know if it is a strategy, right. This might have been the President in a hot headed moment. Although I tend to think it is more strategic, because first of all, it was an iterative, right, fire and fury. Also he used it -- if you watch the entire clip -- twice. He said fire and fury in the beginning and another sort of 20 seconds elapse before he returns to the exact same terminology. Which is for Donald Trump as we all know, who can speak and who can be hot headed to return to specific repetition of language suggests that perhaps that was intentional and planned and perhaps it was an intentional escalation that is certainly a departure from previous American Presidents, but perhaps a calculation is being made by the White House that the previous strategy for a decade of Republican and Democratic Presidents hasn't worked in North Korea and therefore he has decided to speak to Kim Jong-un that in a way -- communist dictators are who are authoritarian military dictators understand fire and fury. They understand powerful language. It's almost he was speaking in a way that a military dictator may understand.

LEMON: You bring up a very good point. He said he said fire and fury. He said that twice. Also he said the same thing before. When people think it took it over the edge or caused concern when he said like the world has never seen before and -- that is where I'm going. He said has never seen before. He also used it when he was talking about the opioid epidemic, talking about the southern border. The country has never seen this kind of strength. So he returned to that there line. What do you make of that?

BRINKLEY: That it's Trump hyperbole. But he is throwing it out there in a very serious crisis that we have now. Imagine you're in Guam this evening or Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, I mean this is a moment you have to start thinking about civil defense and this is a President that did do a successful tomahawk strike on Syria's chemical facility but they may have made him feel he can do something like that a strike, that is easy in North Korea and show kind of a wag the dog scenario. Nobody's talking about the Russian probe. We're all talking about North Korea. To me he came off today as an hinged when he needs to be in a mode of deescalating this crisis, reassuring allies and work closely with united nations which I'm sure they're doing behind the scenes.

LEMON: that is why I asked the first question to you where I said was it intentional, to Margaret it was strategic, Is the United States sending a clear message to North Korea by what the President said today?

LAURA ROSENBERGER, SENIOR FELLOW AT THE GERMAN MARSHALL FUND: It's a really important question, Don. And I'm quite concerned he is not sending a clear message to North Korea and he is not sending a clear message to our allies. I haven't talked to anyone who knows what the President means by fire and fury the likes the world has never seen. And if we can't make sense of it, our allies in Tokyo and Seoul are not go being able to make sense of it and that is incredibly dangerous in a scenario like this where deterrence and reassurance is absolutely essential to how we deal with this challenge, credibility of words matters. Whether he is actually threatening something having not even coordinated with our allies or if not threatening something it is just empty words, that undermines the very credibility of our warnings that there critical to our deterrent.

[23:10:08] LEMON: Scott Jennings, Ari Fleisher who has been a staunch supporter of President Trump and press secretary under a President who went to a war twice. He said my first reaction was, how could he say that -- with the exclamation point, too inflammatory, not Presidential. And the second reaction, if this doesn't get China to act, nothing will. Is the president warning presidential, Scott?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think he is extremely frustrated. He just came off the U.N. security council vote that we won 15-0 and I think he probably thought this is going to modify their behavior and then we get this report about they're actually having the miniaturized nuclear weapon. I think it is extremely frustrated. I do think, I agree with Mr. Brinkley that he needs to talk to the American people now perhaps from the oval office and talk about a couple of things. Number one, exactly what do we know about their capabilities? Number two, what do we know about our own defensive capability, can we shoot this things down? And number three -- what additional steps can we take here nonmilitary, perhaps turning the economic screws on China, to get them to intercede? This was a big win to the U.N. Security Council to get China and Russia to vote for us. Now we're go having to get them, especially China to take the next step, which is to step in here with the United States and say look we may have to join the United States in action against you if you don't get your act together. I think he has to lay this out for the American people in extremely clear terms.

LEMON: That is great hindsight after he said, my initial question is, is the President's warning, Scott, President?

JENNINGS: Yes it is presidential. This is coming from the commander and chief of the world's most powerful military? That means it is presidential and I do think it is terms that a dictator would understand, I agree with Margaret when she said that, I also I also think President Trump tends to speak sometimes in rhetoric that is very global in nature as the world has ever known. We had a guest on earlier who was talking about the times he is used that phrase and so I think if you're trying deconstruct his language, it's something he says often. But obviously he is sending a clear message. We're not going to be pushed around anymore by you guys. We have been pushed around, you have been jerking us around the past 20/30 years and that time is over. I said that night I thought he was sending a clear message to North Korea. I actually think this words are following up on the actions he took in Syria that Kim Jong-un know, United States are going to stand for this.

LEMON: Thank you all. Thank you. When we come back, we'll break down what North Korea is capable of and how the U.S. could respond to any further threats from the rogue nation. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:16:16] LEMON: North Korea threatening tonight to strike the United States. A threat taking on extra urgency in the wake of U.S. Intelligence Analyst assessments that North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear war head. That is according to sources. So what do we know about this weapon and what are its potential capabilities? Some answers tonight from CNN Tom Foreman, Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Don, this photograph purports to show Kim Jong-un with a miniaturized nuke and if it's a real deal, this is what we can tell about it. It would be roughly two feet across, possibly several hundred pounds maybe 5 or 600 pounds and it would likely have the force of the bombs that were dropped on Japan by the United States 72 years ago this week. But look at the comparative size. Each of these was around 10 feet, 11 feet long, weighed around 10,000 pounds. This had to be carried by a heavy bomber to its target. Something this small, very different, this could fit into the nose cone of some of those missiles they've been testing lately and that changes the equation remarkably, because look at the last test.

That missile went about 2300 miles up and down well beyond the international space station, well beyond any satellites out there. It was only 621 miles, because basically it went straight up and down but if you flatten that trajectory out and were to fire across the earth, depending on the weight of the pay load, yes, it could reach Hawaii out in the pacific, Alaska, Guam and some scientists say depending on the weight, it may actually get to the middle of the country and hit cities there in the United States. Technically, they say, that might happen. I say technically because there are still a lot of questions. Let's consider where they stand right now.

Even if we give them a green light on range and say they do have the thrust to get one this far, big questions surround the question of accuracy. Can they get a missile into space, back out of space into the atmosphere without tearing apart and deliver a warhead to a chosen target? Technologically that is very difficult so that is the yellow light that is vested at this point. Bear in mind, only a few weeks ago, the nuclear war head question, we have a red light on that, because so many scientists said they don't have the technology to make a tiny nuke. Now others are suggesting maybe they do, they believe they do. So that is a yellow light at least at this point, Don.

LEMON: Tom Foreman, thank you very much. Let's bring in now Lt. Commander Steven Rogers a former Senior Military Intelligence Officer, who is a member of the Trump Campaign committee. And CNN military analyst, Major General James Spider Marks. Hello to both of you. Thank you very much by the way for your service to the country. General Marks, I want to start with you, based on what we just heard from Tom Foreman, what's your assessment of the danger of this situation? How dangerous is it?

JAMES SPIDER MARKS, MILITARY ANALYST, CNN: It's quite dangerous. They have missile technology, they have for years. They have intermediate range ballistic missiles, they have now purportedly and we've seen a couple tests, developed an ICBM, an Inter Continental Ballistic Missile. Which means if given its trajectory, as Tom just laid out could reach the United States. And we've known for the longest time, over the course of many years, starting in 2009 they've had multiple nuclear tests and we've assessed that, we the intelligence community, has assess that North Korea has an excess of 15 to 20 nuclear war heads. Now estimates put that at close to 60. Frankly that is a distinction without a difference. The fact they have any is what's significant and now the assessment from the Defense Intelligence agency is that they can marry those two things together.

[23:20:05] We've not seen a national intelligence estimate, which is called NIE from the central intelligence agency which really has the lead in terms of putting the assessments together. It all leads to the same picture, which is North Korea is a nuclear state. It has the capability to potentially reach the United States and they've got nukes and the fact that you got an incredibly large military, one of the largest standing armies in the world, in excess of a million men. They own that terrain. They have forever. And you have in the south a very strong coalition force of the United States, South Korea with a whole bunch of alliance capabilities that are focused on this thing. It is a very dangerous situation.

LEMON: If we could put the math back up of the potential range here in United States. If you look at that, general, what exactly are these miniaturized weapons and -- can you talk about the range? Because Tom Foreman said maybe, maybe Alaska, maybe Hawaii, maybe the middle of the United States.

SPIDER MARKS: Everything that Don -- I'm sorry that Tom laid out makes perfect sense and it follows the trajectory that he described.

LEMON: Can you be more specific?

SPIDER MARKS: What happened, Don, is the tests -- two tests for an ICBM that had been conducted, essentially went straight up and straight down. So if that trajectory was going to be extra atmospheric, outside of the atmosphere and come back down, he is demonstrated the range, based on the assessments that have been made by intelligence folks, very bright scientific eyes and minds have looked at the thrust capability, whether it's liquid or solid fuel and they have said if it can get to their atmosphere, it's going to be less friction. When it comes back in, if it has a reentry capability, if the North Koreans have wrap up that warhead with the re-entry capability it's not going to burn up when it comes back in and it could reach portions of United States.

LEMON: Commander Rogers, President Trump is threatening North Korea when he says fire and fury and the power likes of which the world has never seen. I mean the world has seen some pretty dangerous situations. What does this kind of language mean?

STEVEN ROGERS, SENIOR MILITARY INTELLIGENCE OFFICER, U.S. NAVY: First I want to thank the general for serving this country, General thank you, impressive military career.

SPIDER MARKS: Thank you. ROGERS: Don, with regard to what the President said I liken it to me

being a street cop in a large city years ago. You have to speak the language of your enemies. You have to let them know you mean business. President Obama, President Clinton, President Bush, as long as I have lived, we have president's who have done their darndest to try to bring North Korea to the table, they tried to do it with conciliatory gesture, through diplomacy. It hasn't worked. We've tried sanctions. Even up to last week where the President, Donald Trump was able to get China and Russia to join in voting for extraordinary sanctions against North Korea. That didn't work. February 12th this year, short range medium test missiles. Spring of this year, medium range missiles, now we are here almost towards what looks like could be a nuclear nightmare that Korea is trying to impose upon this country. President Donald Trump assesses all of this and comes to the conclusion, you know what they're not going to listen to diplomacy, it's time to get them to know that we mean business and one more thing I think the President is going to strategically is going to cause China to step in, because they don't have a choice, we are not going to see a war.

LEMON: What about our troops on the Korean peninsula tonight? What kind of danger are they in?

ROGERS: Well our troops are in danger all around the world, but they're tough, they're mighty and they are ready to fight and they will fight to win. I would say -- and I was one of them out there. The general was one of the troops you're talking about out there. We think about one thing. Protecting our country at all cost.

LEMON: I need to get to this North Korea reacting tonight, accusing the U.S. in indulging in war hysteria without discretion and they will turn the U.S. mainland into a theater of a nuclear war if it were to detect a sign of a U.S. Attack. What do you think that means?

SPIDER MARKS: Well, frankly, what we're seeing is what has been used by the North Korean regime for 70 years. This is not new. North Korea as a matter of routine threatens our troops in the south, the South Korean population, and its neighbors. It barks very loudly and over the course of the 70 years of this regime has been able to get away with this type of behavior simply because they haven't had the capability to threaten globally. They now have the capabilities to threaten globally. So we've seen this language before and I think to your very good question, what are the threats tonight on the peninsula? They are the threats that were in place when I was there a whole bunch of times. They were the threats that were in place this morning before this became what we think is a verbal configuration. They are no different now than they were before.

[23:25:32] LEMON: General Marks and Commander Rogers thank you both gentlemen. When we come back, poll after poll on President Trump approval numbers hitting record lows, but what does this actually mean for the President and his party? We'll break it down.


LEMON: Latest CNN poll, not good news for President Trump just six and a half months into his term, only 38 percent approve the job he is doing with 56 percent say they disprove. Here to discuss, Larry Sabato Director of the center for politics that University of Virginia. Molly Ball Political writer for the Atlantic, CNN contributor Salena Zito, a columnist for the New York Post and contributor JD Vance the author of Hill Billy analogy a memoir of a family and culture in crisis. Good evening everyone, Larry, you first, despite the strong economy. Approval numbers are at an all time low for President Trump. I want you to put this into context, because at the same time the numbers are very low, they're also very stable.

LARRY SABATO, DIRECTOR CENTER FOR POLITICS, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Yes, they're stable, Don, because people have been dug in about Donald Trump since the campaign. Yes, he managed to win thanks to the Electoral College. But I think you can argue he has never been over 50 percent popularity on a single day of the 200 plus days he is been in office. So people are dug in and that is good for him in one way. It solidifies a lot of his base. Though some cracks are showing. It is bad for him because it's very difficult for him to expand that base and to grow to the extent that most Presidents have in getting over 50. So they have some points to lose when there's a crisis or they have to do something that is unpopular.

LEMON: It was on this program, definitely on this network where they said even if their support for him has wane a little bit Larry, that his supporters are anti, anti-Trump. Do you get that?

SABATO: Yes, they're anti, anti-Trump. If the elections were held again today and the same two candidates were there, I don't know that the results would be all that different. Maybe he'd lose Michigan, 10,000 votes. But we're really dug in and I don't think that is going to change absent a major crisis that makes people rethink what they believe about Donald Trump.

LEMON: I think it may have been Margaret Hoover. I'm not sure. Molly in this CNN SSRS poll, just 24 percent of Americans say they trust most of or all of what comes out of the White House. Almost three quarters say they don't. How can the President govern without credibility? Is it possible to overcome this? Do you think?

MOLLY BALL, POLITICAL WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: It depends what you mean by overcome. He is already having a very hard time governing and I think Larry made a very good point which was Donald Trump has never been popular and his political theory has been that he didn't need that. He won the election with a lot of people voting for him who did not like him and did not believe him. There was a majority of the American people who knew that he wasn't necessarily the world's biggest truth teller on the day they voted for him anyway. There is lot of people who voted for Donald Trump but think the alternative is worse. On the one hand, yes, he is clearly having a hard time governing and you can chalk that up to divisions in his own party, you could chalk that up to his inexperience, you can chalk that up to a lack of popular support which makes it easier for Republicans in congress to peel away from him but at the same time I think public popularity is not something that Donald Trump has ever really relied on in order to be where he is. LEMON: JD, you say Americans don't hold politicians to high standards

and Donald Trump's base of supporters have accepted that he lies but does everyone else have to accept that the president is a habitual liar? It seems like much of the American public is not buying that right now.

JD VANCE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What I would say is that we sort of expect our politicians to lie, not just Donald Trump's base expects him to lie. I came of age watching politics in the 1990s in the era of Bill Clinton and I presumed if you're in the political business you were telling lies. You see a negative view of Trump's trustworthiness in the population at large. I don't necessarily think that is a major driver of whether people are going to vote for him. I mean to the point Larry made earlier, the overwhelming majority of folks who dislike both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, actually voted for Donald Trump. Because politics is a fundamentally relative game, a lot of people may not trust him but may support him in one way or another.

LEMON: Salena Zito, our Trump whisper and our Trump voter whisper and that is why I saved you for last. In this polls, the CNN SSRS polls, it also shows a drop in the percentage of Republicans who strongly approve on the Trump's presidency. I want you to take a look at those numbers now, ok, compared to earlier in the year. Right now 59 percent approve but in March 69 percent approve, February 73 percent approve. You say his base is stubbornly protective of him but I have to point out that Republicans are clearly not. What are your thoughts on that?

SALENA ZITO, WASHINGTON EXAMINER STAFF: Look at the time period to where they really strongly approved of him. That was when the thing that really drove reluctant Republicans to vote for him was the appointment of the Supreme Court justice.

[23:35:00] LEMON: Gorsuch?

ZITO: Yes, and that is where he peeked and I don't think these voters have gone away from him. I think they're sitting on the sidelines. They were the most reluctant and the most skeptical of him, as opposed to the soft Democrats who bought into him more because he was the disrupter and the Republicans are like why are you in my party? But they got what they wanted, the thing which took them over the edge, which was the Supreme Court nomination and that is why you saw the numbers higher than. I think as more court appointments come up or Supreme Court appointment comes up, you'll see them move over because that is their driving force.

LEMON: But health care didn't help though, right Salena?

ZITO: No. Health care didn't help. Health care was always going to be a long slug. I'm not sure that it's over. But the health care thing I mean once you give someone something --

LEMON: It's hard take away.

ZITO: It's real hard to take it back out of their pockets. LEMON: Molly I want to talk to you about your piece in the Atlantic.

You wrote a great piece about your travels to West Virginia. And you spoke to Trump supporters. You write when you don't have accomplishments you still have identity to fall back on and this more than anything is Trump's refrain. We're a team, in this together, united by our shared blood and shared enemies. And he said, in his last speech he said we won, he talk about we, they are trying to get us, explain this to us.

BALL: Yes, I think Salena also makes a good point which is the Trump base is not necessarily the Republican base and his appeal is very solid among the people who, as J.D. was saying, see all politicians as liars, so when they look at what is happening in congress they don't blame Trump for that, they blame all the phony's in Washington, they blame Mitch McConnell and look at Trump as the only one who is willing to call it as he sees it. Talk to the people in West Virginia who are still by the thousands going to campaign rallies for an election that happened nine months ago and asked them, why do you come out for this and beyond the fact that there is maybe not a lot of other evening entertainment on West Virginia on a Thursday night, they say he gets us. He speaks for us. He is our voice.

It's a very tribal sort of feeling and that is why it's so unshakeable. I think you do see his support eroding among Republicans, but that is different from the Trump base and those people maybe are going from strong supporters to not strong supporters. They're not crossing over to the other side and the political problem for Democrat is that they're not running against Donald Trump in the next election. They're running against the Republican Party.

LEMON: Interesting. So the President has said his base of support that he believes is getting bigger and stronger. I'm going to ask Larry Sabato about that right after this break.


[23:47:00] LEMON: We are just over 200 days into the Trump presidency and our latest CNN poll is full of bad news for the President. Back now with my panel, Larry the question I have before the break, President tweeted that his base of support is bigger and stronger than ever but our new polling shows otherwise. For example, this latest CNN SSRS poll shows 50 percent of non-college educated whites think President Trump can manage government effectively. That is down from 62 percent in April. What does that say about his base if anything?

SABATO: Well, I'm not sure it says all that much about his base. I think Molly was right about the base staying put, but Don, this will shock you that tweet is false. I know it hasn't happened before but I think President tweeted something that was not true. There's absolutely no objective evidence that suggests his base is expanding. If anything it's contracting a bit and his real problems with independents. He won them last November. Now he is losing them by at least 20 points in job approval.

LEMON: And that is really the critical part of this, isn't it, Larry? Because he is going to hang on to his base but those people who can be suede one way or another is going to get him in trouble and maybe Republicans in 2018.

SABATO: It will get Republicans in trouble before it gets Trump in trouble. The Republican problem is going to be turnout. A lot of their people are going to be dissolution if the Republicans never pass health care, tax reform, infrastructure, etc., etc. Why would they come out to vote after all the promises weren't fulfilled, except for Gorsuch?

LEMON: Salena, do you think the Trump base or his supporters will ever get tired of the so-called Trump show?

ZITO: I mean they have a really interesting relationship with him, right? I mean they bought into this commodity long before he ran. So they kind of knew this is a guy that spoke in hyperbole and they were comfortable with that, right? I don't that is what's going to dislodge them. I think what would dislodge them is if he starts becoming a creature of Washington, right? The thing they detest the most is this big thing, big government, big Hollywood, big media and they wanted to drain the swamp. If he starts a connection with Washington and he goes. You know how they say people go Hollywood, he goes Washington and if he becomes part of that swamp, I think that is where that relationship would start to fall apart.

LEMON: J.D. what about North Korea? How will his supporters react? Is this thing something that is on their radar, is it something that moves him one way or another?

VANCE: I think it's certainly on their radar. My early read on the comments about North Korea is that they actually played pretty well, right, because they do the very thing or they show the very thing Selena just mentioned which is that the President isn't a creature of Washington, he is not talking in the language of the elites and establishment. He is talking frankly like a lot of people they wish they could talk to Kim Jong-un and talk to North Korea so whatever the foreign policy implications are or what the president said today, I think they play politically pretty well. I would say that not just among the core based of Trump voters but among the broad middle of the country that have looked at the country for 20/30 years, wouldn't it be nice if somebody talked tough to this really outrages regime?

[23:45:41] LEMON: Molly, what about the part of the poll where only 30 percent look up to the President?

BALL: I think it's kind of silly to say Trump supporters support Trump. That is true by definition. The problem is there are fewer and fewer of those people every day. There are people falling out of his base. There are people who did put the faith in him as a potential solution to all the problems in Washington and they see him not being able to accomplish his goals. I mean this people believed him when he said the politicians are stupid people, this is really easy if you can make a great deal. I'm going to go in there and get this stuff done on day one. These people are not stupid. They can tell it's not happening. Even when the President tells them everything is fine, it's obvious from his polls that he has a credibility problem that these people can see with their own eyes and read in the newspaper, even if it's fake that things are not happening.

LEMON: But there is (inaudible) Molly, people hate to be proven wrong. They make an excuse to say why something else, the Republicans are holding them back, the Democrats are holding them back. They come up with some excuse. Don't you think? Yes, they're not stupid.

BALL: That is what I described in my piece. There is this constant particularly within the beltway, this constant dissection of the elusive Trump supporter that is almost anthropological like, what is wrong with these people, how can they keep on believing in him, but its true? People really want to believe in him and what he is telling them is that they have to keep believing in him, because if they don't, it's them that is on -- their own reputation is on the line. If he is wrong, they were wrong and so that is how he keeps them on the team.

LEMON: There you go. You're very smart. Not being condescending but that is true. That was a very good point and explains probably better than anyone I've heard. Thank you I appreciate it. When we come right back, Minnesota's governor calling Saturday's bombing of a mosque an act of terrorism, but the President has yet to comment and his silence is becoming a pattern.


[23:51:40] LEMON: The FBI says an improvised explosive device caused an explosion at a mosque in Minnesota over the weekend. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton saying it's an act of terrorism. President Trump saying nothing yet, here to discuss Dean Obeidallah the host of Sirius XM, The Dean Obeidallah show and Saba Ahmed the founder of Republican Muslim coalition, so good to have you on. I'm going to start with you Saba. I want to get your take on there. I'm going to put this map up from January through July, there were 63 incidents of arson, vandalism or threats made to mosques in America. That is according to the council on American Islamic relations. These are occurring all over the country. What's the mood of the Muslim community like right now?

SABA AHMED, FOUNDER OF REPUBLICAN MUSLIM COALITION: It's pretty sad to see the hate crimes increasing against Muslims in America. At the same time, we strongly condemn the terrorism that occurred last weekend against the Minnesota mosque. I'm deeply saddened to see President Trump not address it so far, but I hope the Muslim community would step up its outreach efforts to the White House if we want to see a strong response coming from there. We can't be on the receiving end or we can't play the victim games. We have to be proactive and must engage with the White House.

LEMON: Dean?

DEAN OBEIDALLAH, SIRIUS XM, THE DEAN OBEIDALLAH SHOW HOST: I don't know what we can do to reach out to Donald Trump. The man who deem demonized us during the campaign saying Islam hates us. Thousands of Muslims cheered in New Jersey on 9/11, Rudy Giuliani said that wasn't true. AHMED: Dean, people change their views.

OBEIDALLAH: Here's what I said. If Donald Trump wanted to reach out to the communities that he demonized during this campaign from Latinos to us to the disabled to women, go out and meet them. Invite them to the White House. I'm a Muslim guy. I'd like to meet Donald Trump and that is not going to happen. We both know that. This is politics. He will not defend us. He will not stand up for us.

AHMED: The first trip he made overseas was to Islamic countries. He is doing business with Muslims. We needed to step up our efforts. If he can go to Saudi Arabia and make a speech on Islam over there, he can definitely do it within the United States.

OBEIDALLAH: He travelled to Saudi Arabia. Why is he traveling to Patterson New Jersey and meet with the Muslims there? Or come to New York and meet the Muslims there. What about America first. At some point, we have to say he doesn't want.

AHMED: We need to invite him to our mosques.

OBEIDALLAH: I'll invite him to my apartment. He is not going to show up. I am Muslim. The whole debate, how does Donald Trump lose his base? If he hugs a Muslim, that is how he will lose his base.

AHMED: He is not Republicans are stronger than ever. There is no reason for them to lose any base or have any.

LEMON: Saba, shouldn't the President of the United States set the example rather than you know, having.

AHMED: Of course, yes.

LEMON: Muslims have to reach out to the President? Shouldn't the President be reaching out to all Americans including Muslim Americans?

AHMED: I think that is what he has been trying to do, but obviously he has certain people around him that maybe subverting the agenda. How many Muslims are there in the White House to change his mind? If we're always playing the victim games, we'll never accomplish anything.

LEMON: Before we run out of time, I want to play this, just because we are running out of time. This is an interview from President Trump's adviser Sebastian Gorka and he did on MSNBC today.


[23:55:10] SEBASTIAN GORKA, DEPUTY ASSISTANT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: There's a great rule. All initial reports are false. You have to check them. You have to find out who the perpetrators are. We've had a series of crimes committed alleged hate crimes by right wing individuals in the last six months that turned out to actually have been propagated by the left. When you've had people fake hate crimes in the last six months with some regularity, I think it's wise, don't you, to find out what exactly is going on before you make statements when in fact they could turn out to be not who you are expecting.


LEMON: What did that have to do with --

OBEIDALLAH: Sebastian Gorka has no credibility whatsoever. The only terrorism out there is from Muslims as opposed to the idea like Dylann Roof doesn't count, Timothy McVeigh doesn't count. Glen and Scott Crawford convicted in December sentenced to 30 years for plotting to kill Muslims.

LEMON: A couple seconds left.

AHMED: Regardless of the right or the left, obviously the White House should address it. I'm coming in from Portland, Oregon. Over here we had three people stabbed trying to save two Muslim women a couple months ago. Obviously the hate crimes are increasing. They must be addressed by the White House in the most senior level and in the most strongest terms. At the same time, obviously we should wait for the investigation to see what it says. I would like to see Trump address it if not now, later.

LEMON: Saba, Dean, we'll continue our conversation. Thank you very much. I appreciate it. That is it for us tonight. Thanks for watching, I'll see you right back here tomorrow.