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Two More Women Say Roy Moore Made Unwanted Overtures At An Alabama Mall; Will Sessions Replace Moore And Run For Senate. Aired 11-Midnight ET

Aired November 15, 2017 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:55:] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: This is CNN tonight, I'm Don Lemon, and 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast live with all the breaking news here for you tonight. "The Washington Post" reports that two more women say senate candidate Roy Moore made unwanted advances towards them when they worked at an Alabama mall. That is in addition to five more women who say he abused them when they were teenagers. The defiant Moore, refusing to drop out of the race, the GOP desperate to get rid of him. And President Trump, well, he is dodging the question, but is he playing politics behind scenes? More and more Republicans calling for Jeff Sessions to replace Moore and run for his old seat in the senate. Which would put the beleaguered Attorney General right where many people believe President Trump wants him, out of the administration with the Russian investigation looming. Here to discuss all of this is former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti and CNN contributor John Dean, a former Nixon White House counsel, good evening gentlemen, I wonder if he is playing a long game here, we'll get to the Asia trip here, but is he playing the long game here with maybe he will get Sessions out and can get another Attorney General or doesn't have to recuse himself from the Russia investigation and then feels more comfortable about it.

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: I think he should be concerned and I'm concerned about it as an American and I think everybody who is watching it at home should be concerned about it, because frankly if we have a situation where the new Attorney General is in there and gets rid of Bob Mueller you could have a real problem where somebody is above for law where the President or his associates may not be held accountable for whatever may or may not have happened. So the independent of the Department of Justice is important and the independence of the special counsel of this investigation is equally important. Obviously there would be risks for the President if he puts Sessions out there and ends up, for example, losing. It's not a guarantee, but something we should be watching very closely.

LEMON: I am sure it is something he should be watching, he should be saying what are the polls show? What are the odds, because if this happens then, I no longer have an Attorney General that has been out there for a long time.

MARIOTTI: Well we know Don, and based on the reporting by some of the newspapers, the President was angry, like vitriolic, when Sessions recused himself. So that is odd, usually that is something that is like his duty in the Justice Department. So that is unusual thing.

LEMON: So gentlemen, I mentioned the Asia trip, the reason I mentioned it, because he touted the Asia trip, he took a victory lap, but this is how that press conference ended today. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Should Roy Moore resign as a President? Do you believe Roy Moore should resign?


LEMON: Shouldn't even call it a press conference, just a speech because he took no questions. The silence from the President was deafening, wasn't it?

JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: It was, it was a bait and switch press conference. He has done that before as we know. Don, I don't think the Attorney General Sessions wants to leave the job. He is trying to put his imprint on the department and has been one of the more aggressive cabinet officers in trying to fill the vacancies, he is trying to fill the U.S. attorneys jobs and he really does have plans that a lot of people would not agree with that he has had his eye on for a long time. So I think he would be very reluctant to take this option unless the President really forced it on him. And the President is not subject to the hatch act, and he could go out and say, I want Mr. Sessions in this job in the senate and I want you voters in Alabama to support him. And I'm out here campaigning, because he cannot, he is subject to the hatch act and see what happens. So that way he would not give up his seat but yet he could be on the write-in ballot.

LEMON: So John, today, Republican close to the White House told CNN the President the silence is in large part rooted in his own history of facing sexual misconduct allegations. Do you think the President will be forced to take a stand, especially now that two more women have come forward just tonight in the Roy Moore situation?

[23:05:04] DEAN: And we can expect many more I suspect it, Don, that will come forward. But I think he does have a problem. The press is not going to let him off the hook, nor should they. He has left a lot of women accused of lying about their encounters with him. And that is dirty linen he has to deal with to really address the Moore situation.

LEMON: Yes, and so there is a list of women who have accused Roy Moore, and there you go. Interesting, you said you believe there are more women that will come out. The reporters I speak to who live in Alabama and who have been following the story say they believe it as well. They tell me they have women on their voice mails and e-mail, and so on. Can I play Mitch McConnell took a stand yesterday, here is what he said then we will talk about it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So is Jeff Sessions a possibility? SEN MITCH MCCONNEL, (R) MAJORITY LEADER: We don't know. But he fits

the mold of somebody who might be able to pull off a write-in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You say that like somebody who would like to see that happen.

MCCONNEL: I would like to save the seat. And it's a heck of a dilemma when you have got a completely unacceptable candidate bearing a label of your Party within a month of the election.


LEMON: So and then -- here is what Judge Moore tweeted tonight. He said dear Mitch McConnell, bring it on. So first tough words by you know, the leader of the GOP and then Moore's reaction. It shows a big division in the Party. They're in a conundrum here.

MARIOTTI: They are, and really the Party is more divided than it has ever been. You have the President of the United States taking on Mitch McConnell, I think for Moore, he is in a tough position because he basically wants people to think that he is the unluckiest man in the world, while this random women, conspired, they are all coming out of the woodwork and making this up. So he is in a tough spot and Mitch McConnell is in a tough spot. He wants to save that seat. And unfortunately, the beneficiary of that may be the President if Sessions get out of the way, but it would be the detriment to the American people having an investigation that is independent. So I think there is a lot of play here. Everybody should be taking close look at.

LEMON: You both are law guys, we heard with Cosby, there was one, then two, three, women, and Harvey Weinstein, one, two and three women. And then Kevin Spacey, one man, two, where do you see it going?

MARIOTTI: I will tell you, you know, when people are guilty of crimes, the evidence tends to come out of the woodwork. When I would be preparing for trial and digging into the evidence you would always find more and more nuggets. And when you put it in a row would be all of these coincidences that would be really hard to believe on their own.

LEMON: The thing is people get upset when you deny it. When you deny it people become angry, why is he denying that? Because I know it's the truth. Listen, John, back on topic now. The senate majority whip, John Cornyn also says that he would support the idea of Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a write-in candidate. Do you think this is a coordinated move by McConnell and his number two to present a scenario that might appeal to the President?

DEAN: I think it is, I think they're making their thoughts known about how to proceed. And the question is whether the President wants to force Sessions to do it. As I said at the outset there is a way he could do it by himself campaigning for Sessions and saying you can sit tight in the cabinet, I won't make you jeopardize your job, but if you get elected do you agree to take the seat? He is hampered. Sessions can't do both, he can't be both the Attorney General and the candidate, because of the hatch act. But the President could scheme and do it that way by himself campaigning for Sessions.

LEMON: You mentioned how upset the President was when he -- when Sessions recused himself. We know he is not happy with the Attorney General, here is what he said earlier this month.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Saddest thing is that because of the President of the United States I am not supposed to be involved with the Justice Department. I'm not supposed to be involved with the FBI. I'm not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I'm very frustrated by that.


LEMON: So again, we know that the President is angry with Sessions for recusing himself with the Russian investigation. Do you think this is a way to get rid of Mueller? Do you really think this is a viable way to get rid of Mueller so that he can get rid of the special counsel?

MARIOTTI: Well, it's certainly something we should be looking at.

LEMON: Well, what does it mean for the special counsel now? Does it mean anything?

MARIOTTI: Well, sure, right now the special counsel is loosely supervised by Rod Rosenstein, and most people doesn't even know or haven't heard much about, but he is the deputy Attorney General, and the reason that he has that is because Sessions recused himself.

[23:10:03] So if a new Attorney General is appointed that doesn't have a conflict of interest regarding an investigation that person could step into Rosenstein's shoes and then try to cut Mueller's investigation short and that could be a concern, because a lot of people want to know whatever side of the aisle you're on what is actually there.

LEMON: Yes, Renato, John, thank you very much. See you next time.

When we come back, a lot of evangelical voters still support Roy Moore, even in a wake of stunning allegations that he sexually abused teenagers. Will their support and Moore's defiance keep him in this race? That is next.


LEMON: Five women in Alabama accused senate candidate Roy Moore of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers, and tonight the Washington Post reports that two more women making accusations against Moore. Let us discuss now, CNN political analyst David Drucker is here, Kurt Bardella former Breitbart spokesperson is here as well. And reverend Dr. Robert Franklin, a professor of moral leadership at Emory University. Thank you all, so much for being here, so good to have you on, reverend, two more women have described inappropriate behavior by Roy Moore, allegedly at the Alabama mall to the Washington Post and here is part of what one of the new accuser told the Washington post. OK?

She said Moore, now a candidate for U.S. Senate, asked her where she went to school and then for her phone number, which she says she declined to give, telling him that her father, a southern Baptist preacher would never approve.

[23:15:05] A few days later she says, she was in trigonometry class at Gaston High School, at Gaston High when she was summon to the principal's office over the intercom in her classroom. She had a phone call, I said hello, as she recalls and the male on the other line said Gena, this is Roy Moore, I was like what, he said what are you doing, I said I'm in trig class. I mean, it's unbelievable, she was called out of class she says, and it's just outrageous. What do you think of Roy Moore? What do you think he should do tonight?

REV ROBERT FRANKLIN, PROFESSOR. MORAL LEADERSHIP, EMORY UNIVERSITY: I believe Roy Moore is in profound need of soul repair. And he needs to do the work of soul repair with his pastor, with other leaders whom he trusts, with whom he can confess and pray and do the reckoning with his past that it sounds like is overdue. But then we need to focus not on the powerful man and men who are misbehaving, but on the women who are victims. And that is the shift from soul repair to moral repair. He needs to apologize, to seek reconciliation and restoration of right relationships with those women. And ultimately, I hope this awful, awful case will enable the entire nation to pivot to a larger conversation about moral leadership and how we revive our high expectations for what leaders are up to in the public square.

LEMON: David, you say top Alabama Republicans are sticking with him out of fear, explain that.

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Roy Moore has a very committed base in Alabama. It's one of the reasons he was rejected from the Supreme Court once and was elected again. It's one of the reasons he was able to win the primary in this special election. He has a committed base and then you have so many other Republicans in Alabama that may not be a part of that base, but are really angry at the Washington establishment as they see it that is trying to undermine exactly the sorts of things they're interested in. The values they're interested in and the policies they're interested in. And if the Republican governor of Alabama, who is going to have another primary at some point and all of this elected officials in Alabama, trying to push Roy Moore off the ballot and out of this race, they're worried that his base will come after them the next time they're up. And for all the talk about what Republicans in Washington might do or are trying to do to push Roy Moore out. They don't have any power to do anything. It's the Republicans in Alabama that have the power to do something. State elected officials, state Party officials and none of them want to be bothered with this.

LEMON: Kurt, here is South Carolina Senator, I want you to listen to this. Lindsey Graham.


SEN LINDSEY GRAHAM, (R) SOUTH CAROLINA: I met a lot of people in the ball, and if you're getting kicked out of the ball that is a pretty bad situation to find yourself in. He was on the no-fly list for the ball, which to me that was pretty stunning.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you like to see the president weigh in and join your call for Roy Moore.

GRAHAM: Well, that would be up to him. He is the head of the Party. Probably be good if he would say something.


LEMON: I mean, it's not funny.

KURT BARDELLA, MEDIA CONSULTANT FOR BREITBART NEWS: I can't believe we're at this point.

LEMON: Exactly, go on, what do you think?

BARDELLA: Senator Graham is right, one, the President needs to speak up about this, and as both the head of the Republican Party and as the President of the United States we can't be at a place where it's going to be possible to sit, a United States Senator who is an open child molester, a sexual predator who you can't trust to go to the neighborhood mall, because he may prey on your high school kids. The level of moral bankruptcy going on here in the Republican Party is beyond anything that we could have possibly imagined.

LEMON: But Kurt, it's the Alabama Republicans and so far it's Steve Bannon who was really supporting him right now. Why is Bannon sticking with him? You know him. What is your calculation on this?

BARDELLA: I think that he thinks that Roy Moore could still win at the end of the day. He would rather be on the winning side of that no matter what that means morally and no matter what that means for anybody else on the other side of it. He relishes being against Mitch McConnell, and on that island, because if somehow Roy Moore wins that race, and moves forward, Bannon will be able to say I was with him. I am powerful, look at what I can make single handedly happen, even a child molester can get in the senate. And it will allow him to continue advancing his league of extraordinary candidates that is going to push everybody.

LEMON: But Kurt, does he want that? There is a question, I know you know that everybody will ask after this, to Steve Bannon, which is?

[23:20:03] BARDELLA: Which is, do you really want to have the support of Steve Bannon who stood by a child molester? I think this potentially makes Steve Bannon a David Duke-like figure in terms of, do you really want the baggage that comes with the Steve Bannon endorsement on the flipside of it, and Steve, does not give a crap. This is somebody who truly, anytime you have conventionalism in play, he does the exact opposite. I have watch him over the time that I worked with him, any time that there is controversy, any time that there was a question about inaccuracies, things maybe you should not do he would run towards it, he would refuse to back down and believes in fighting even if it's a fight that no one else would take, he relishes doing it.

LEMON: Reverend I have to ask you. Why are so many evangelicals still supporting Moore? And what is your message to them tonight?

FRANKLIN: I would like to challenge and invite evangelical leaders and indeed, the large faith community to look at a passage in the New Testament, Galatians chapter 6. The first three verses provide very clear direction for what should happen when a leader in the church or a Christian sister or brother falls or sins, and the very first verse, if something happens, those who are, the adults in the room, if you will, need to perform an intervention and restore that person who has fallen in a spirit of humility. The second verse tells us that we should show compassion for those who are suffering and in pain. So the challenge of the church is to do precisely that.

Demand that Judge Moore step aside, do the soul repair work he needs to do. Apologize to the women and others whom he has harmed and perhaps in the future after a track record of demonstrated remorse and service to others, of good deeds then perhaps, he will be ready and rehabilitated for some type of meaningful action. But the churches I think have stood with him, many of them and they should be accorded a measure of respect, because they understand themselves to be providing support for one who is being persecuted. But I would submit they are falling below their obligation to work with this leader who has fallen. To extract him and then to move forward in a healthier way.

And so I would just close by noting is that the third verse in that passage says if a man thinks he is something and he is nothing, he deceives himself. And I see Judge Moore from my humble opinion engaged in kind of the stages of grief, denial, anger at the media, at the Democrats and others. And then the bargaining, well, let's just let me get elected and I'll be a great champion. I promise, so just trust me. And then of course this could lead to depression, and ultimately acceptance, but not without his stepping up to do the heavy lifting spiritual rehabilitation.

LEMON: That has to be the last word.

BARDELLA: They may not be able to rehabilitate this, there are some who you just can't fix, and someone who preys on teenagers who calls students out of class to talk to them on the phone. I don't think there is a way to fix them, they are broken beyond repair and really where they belong is locked up, because they are a threat to our society.

LEMON: I think he can be forgiven, but that doesn't mean he needs to be a Senator, I think we can all agree on that. David we will get more time next time. Thank you all. I appreciate it.

When we come back, a security firm founded by the former KGB spy may soon provide security at the American embassy and in Moscow, I'm going to ask the former chief of CIA Russian operations, what he thinks about that. That is next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:28:04] LEMON: This next segment promises to be fascinating so you should sit down and watch this. We're learning tonight the U.S. Government has hired a private firm in Russia to provide security guards at the American embassy in Moscow. The New York Times is reporting, the company is linked to Vladimir Putin former boss at the KGB, a man who has been decades planting agents and Western security services, eventually becoming the head of the Soviet Counter- Intelligence. I want to talk about that, all of this now, with CNN national security analyst Steve Hall, the retired chief of CIA Russian operations. Fascinating, Steve, thank you for joining us here. It sounds like a bad idea, but you say that the reality is, the FSB, today's version of the KGB, already has control of pretty much any Russian who works at the U.S. Embassy anyway?

STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, it is a little counterintuitive, Don, I mean it sounds like a very bad idea, right? I think you need to understand two things, the situation on the ground in Russia, basically that Vladimir Putin controls everything that happens in that country, largely through his security services and if it's inside Russia it's going to be the FSB, the internal security service. And then the other thing you need to understand is how security works at the American embassy, and of course I can't go into a whole bunch of detail about that. But generally speaking, you have an outer ring of security around the American embassy which is provided by the Russian government. So these are the milli-men, as we used to call them. They are Russian police officials who do report directly to the intelligence services. But their primary job is keeping an eye on what is going on around the embassy and not for the reasons the Russians often say, counterterrorism. You remember a couple of months ago, you have that four young American diplomat trying to get out of a cab to return to the embassy, and he was attacked by the Russian guard on the outside, so that is the outer layer of security. So on the inside you have the folks that we are talking about, the local hired guards that are basically Russians that the American embassy employs to keep the inner perimeter. And then you have the most inner most perimeter which is the U.S. Marine detachment and beyond that only Americans are allowed. But again, when you are talking about hiring a local National Guard force who are you hiring? You are hiring Russians. And the people that are allowed to have the jobs are the FSB, the ones that the internal service says can have those jobs. So the American embassy officials are not presented with much of a choice as to what Russians will we hire to help guard our embassy, it's just the way it works there.

DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Let me ask you, we talked to two former KGB agents, but Logan and Jack Barsky, they echoed your analysis, but Jack Barsky said something else, he said what bothers him about this is the lack of common sense when it comes to dealing with the Russians which he says goes all the way to the top of our government, do you agree with that?

HALL: There is a lot of different layers to that. In general, I would say yes, and it's not just our government and not just this administration. I mean, I've said many times I think probably on your show that there have been a lot of American Presidents, former President Obama and Bush to start with who said yes, we can work things with the Russian government, there is a prevailing sense, a very western sense that hey, we need to cooperate and work together with the Russians, but on something like this when you are talking about embassy's security, it's very, very difficult.

The Americans, the state department, the American side has often times proposed to the Russians for example, that we use an American company, an American private security firm to provide this middle layer of security instead of Russians. The Russians have flatly denied this, why? Because they want as many spies as they can inside the embassy to make it the most watched place on the face of the planet, which it pretty much is. So it's a difficult balancing act, we do have to go into it with our eyes open but there are certain limitations when you are operating in Putin's back yard.

LEMON: Steve Hall, thank you very much sir. A fascinating conversation. I want to continue and now talk about the Russian investigation with Luke Harding. He is the author of the new book, it is called "Collusion secret meetings, dirty money and how the Russians helped Donald Trump." Fascinating book, I moved this one now, to the top of my reading list, seriously not the flatter you too much. It's fascinating, you met with Christopher Steele, right he is the MI6 spy of the infamous dossier, the mysterious figure. It had not been widely known about at the time, but a month later, U.S. Intelligence was briefing the president on it. What did Christopher Steele tell you?

LUKE HARDING, AUTHOR, COLLUSION: Well, when I met him in December 2016, didn't say much. The thing you have to understand about Chris Steele, he is a guy who hates the media, he doesn't like the limelight, he is very discreet and he doesn't reveal who his sources were. We have had stories about the dossier, and of course when it came out four weeks later, we knew it was him.

LEMON: Do you find him to be a credible figure?

HARDING: Yes. After 2014, which was kind of well received by U.S. Intelligence and sent all the way out to John K. to read. What I understand from talking to his friends, the sources behind the Ukraine reports were the same sources behind the Trump dossier, in other words, their sources were right before and kind of proven in other areas, his friends say. You know, I've asked and they say he is professional. He said that he is credible.

LEMON: So listen, he is a mysterious figure as I said, a lot of people would like to hear from him. Does he defend the dossier's accuracy?

HARDING: Yes, what his associates say, he believes it's between 70 and 90 percent accurate. In other words, no intelligence document is perfect. Humans are flawed. They get things wrong, sources make mistakes, this is the raw intelligence, and what he was trying to do is send out these query and got hair-raising replies from his sources about collaboration between Trump people and Russians, some of them intelligence people and say he forwarded this to the FBI and hoped they would investigate. And when they didn't, in his view he became increasingly kind of impatient. And eventually later in 2016, that relationship broke down.

LEMON: Yes, and you said you believe it's credible. Why so? And even some of the salacious parts of it, because if you listen to politics here and the media and the conservative media, it is the debunked, fake dossier, and the media on the left, everything is true and say well some things have been proven, some have not. Where do you stand on that?

[23:35:00] HARDING: Well saying something is discredit does not make it discredited just by repeating it. The point is, I spent four years in Moscow, between 2007 and 2011, and wrote a series of reports that Vladimir Putin didn't like and people from the FSB, going in to my apartment and they told us, sorry, you have bugs. This video, I said what about my bedroom, they said yes, there is video in the bedroom, too. So the FSB would want to visit Donald Trump when he visited Moscow in 2013 is a no-brainer, of course they did. That is really what the KGB did. So it's not really a question about their methods, it is a question about how Trump would behave when he was in Russia.

LEMON: So having said that, do you believe the Russia has compromise on President Trump?

HARDING: Yes. I mean Vladimir Putin is a former KGB spy. They will have a file so big you can't fit it in your studio. And when he visited Moscow, probably even before that when he married a woman from communist Czechoslovakia, so there will be an enormous file. So they seek to exploit people for their own purposes.

LEMON: Your book is called "Collusion," the President says there is no evidence of collusion. What evidence do you find that indicates that there is evidence of collusion?

HARDING: Well, the more we learn, the more we discover these kind of contacts, multiple contacts have been going on, the famous meeting in Trump tower. The meeting about Trump, George Papadopoulos meeting a mysterious professor, and then most recently we discovered that Trump Jr. was corresponding with the Julian Assange the chief of WikiLeaks in London. And wrapping up the interactions, and additionally everyone from Trump's inner circle seems to have a Russia connection, whether or not it's Jeff Sessions, or Rex Tillerson, or Michael Flynn, god bless him. All of them had reach to Moscow.

LEMON: Luke Harding it is called Collusion, secret meetings, dirty money and how Russia help Donald Trump. Thank you. Fascinating conversation, I can't wait to read it.

HARDING: Thank you.

LEMON: When we come back, the President's push to get a tax cut through facing early head winds from a Republican Senator, more on the Senator's objections and President Trump's fight to score a legislative win.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [23:41:32] LEMON: Tonight, one Republican Senator, Ron Johnson of

Wisconsin says he opposes the GOP tax cut plan, saying it favors corporations too much. He says he hopes to support the final version of the bill if changes are made to protect small businesses. I want to talk about this now with the Republican plan, with CNN political commentator Peter Beinart, Alice Stewart and Kevin Madden, Neera Tandem is here, and she is the former policy director for Hillary Clinton. Good evening, all. So much to discuss this evening.


LEMON: Kevin, you first, Republicans are trying to repeal Obamacare yet again, this time they have stuck it in with this tax reform because they need the revenue. They have to put it all in on the line here. What do you make of the strategy?

KEVIN MADDEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, look, I was actually very surprised at first that they would put something like that in. Tax reform bills only come once every 30 years, because they're really hard to do. And so when you are making an effort like this one, you want to make it as less complicated as possible. And certainly the politics of health care is much more fraught with many complications when it comes to building the vote count that you need to pass something.

That being said, you know, I think that this is -- this repeal of Obamacare mandate is something that a lot of these Republican Senators are going to rally behind. If you litigate the individual parts of Obamacare, there are a lot of parts of it that are very popular. The most unpopular part of it is the mandate. It was also ruled as a tax by the Supreme Court. And like you said, like you mentioned earlier Don, the fact that they're able to find $338 billion over ten years to help pay for the overall package so that this is a budget deficit -- this is a budget neutral tax reform bill, that does help them, I think, rally some support. I think they will also have some efforts to try to implement some of the CSR which is --

LEMON: You sat here with me four times during this administration. Four times. It didn't pass, and you think now all of a sudden they're going to say oh, well, let's just repeal. Maybe you're right.

MADDEN: Yes, well, when they pass the repeal previously, part of a larger Obamacare package, remember, Republicans were put on earth to do one thing.

LEMON: All right I got to get the others.

MADDEN: And that was to cut taxes and if it is part of the tax cut bill, they will vote for it.

LEMON: I don't want you to eat up everybody's time, but that is my fault, because I asked you another question, so Alice listen, Republicans have long wanted the individual mandate gone, that is according to CBO, 4 million fewer people would be covered in the first year the repeal would take effect. That number would rise to 13 million by 2027, would mean taking subsidies that lower income Americans use to buy health care and use it to finance tax cuts and eliminating the estate tax, how will that fly?

STEWART: It will fly very well. Because as Kevin said, another thing that Republicans really like to do is stress the fact that Americans should not be forced to pay for something they don't want to pay for. The reality is almost 80 percent of those impacted by Obamacare mandates make less than $50,000 a year. So taking that away will help many Americans across this country. That is an important component of the senate bill, which the deficit hawks want to make sure to make this more deficit neutral when we talk about the tax cuts.

[23:45:00] That will be a rallying cry for those that want to keep the costs down. The house version is a done deal. That is going to pass, no problem with that. They have to votes for that. The main components in the house bill are reducing taxes for middle income Americans, that is a no-brainer and reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent which will help grow the economy and allow businesses to invest in their businesses and create jobs and create higher paying jobs. So that is a done deal. The senate version will have a little more compromise.

LEMON: Is America clamoring Peter, for tax cuts on the higher income wealthy Americans?

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This actually one of innovation of Donald Trump. One of the reason why he won the primary elections. He ran against corporations and ran on a much more populous platform. The idea that this is revenue-neutral is nonsense, what they do is say all of these tax cuts will disappear in 2025. That is the way they claim it won't reach the deficit. But when we get to 2025, the Republicans will do exactly what they did when Bush's tax cuts expired which is say we have to keep the tax cuts. So probably what they're going to do, they're so concerned about the deficit. Remember the tea Party, that was the worst thing on earth, the deficit, they're going to massively expand it just like Ronald Reagan did, and just like George W. Bush, we have seen this movie twice before.

LEMON: You helped to write the affordable care act, we'll hear from you after the break. We'll be right back.


[23:50:50] LEMON: All right. Back now with my political team. Obamacare or the affordable care act, just had record enrollment. Polls show that people now feel more favorably about it and we just saw that in Virginia last weekend that energized some voters. Many who said that health care was a top issue. They came out and they elected, a lot of Democrats. You think that that is going to happen in 2018?

NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE PROGRESSIVE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS AND A FORMER ADVISER TO HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think if they keep doing what they're doing. I mean, I think that, as we all know, just the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and that is what the Republicans are doing. Essentially just to clarify what is actually happening here is essentially they want to undermine the affordable care act. They are going after the individual mandate. But what's really happening is according to the CBO, they're going to have a massive price spike before that. That is what's really causing the additional money is people lose coverage.

That is going to save money, but it's actually 13 million people losing coverage. I'm glad Republicans have decided to do this the week before thanksgiving, which is to basically say that 13 million people, they will not have coverage. But also, it's going to raise premiums. I mean, that is what's so ridiculous is Republicans have talked about lowering health care costs, and this is a $2,000 price spike for people in their premiums.

And what's odd about it is this is the way to sell a bill that essentially the innovation in this tax bill is not only taking away peoples' health care but basically sun setting individual tax cuts in order to make corporate tax cuts permanent. So let's be clear about this, America. Your taxes will go up and corporation's tax cuts will stay low. And on top of all that, Gary Cohn did an event with CEO after CEO after CEO and when they asked him --

LEMON: Let's listen to it Neera, and then we'll talk about it.

TANDEN: Yes, please.

LEMON: Go ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can I ask you all a quick question? If the tax reform bill goes through, do you plan to increase investment, your company's capital investment? Just a show of hands if the tax reform goes through? Okay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why aren't the other hands up?


LEMON: So explain that Neera.

TANDEN: I think the other hands aren't up, because there's really no correlation between low taxes for corporations and their investments. In fact, corporate profitability in the United States is amongst its highest levels. That is not boosting wages. That is not boosting jobs. If you want to do things for the middle class, give them a middle class tax cut that is permanent. That is not what's happening in this bill.

The Republicans go thing their donors and the people in the Trump administration a tax cut, but the middle class is getting shaft. That is the bottom line.

LEMON: I want to get -- I want to move on to talk about other things. Alice, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and his wife took a tour of the bureau of engraving and printing where they were able to see the first currency notes.

STEWART: You're not going to show that picture, are you?


LEMON: Yes. It's television. If it was a radio, no. The two posed for pictures with the new $1 bills and the internet went wild. What's your reaction?

STEWART: I just -- I don't know when she is going to learn that you cannot act like that. You cannot continue to show your love of money over and over and over again. And I think if this had been a standalone situation it would be one thing, but her flying on government taxpayer funded planes in her high-priced clothing attire and putting it on Instagram.

LEMON: Mocking a woman who criticized it.

STEWART: Look, this is --

LEMON: I love the leather opera gloves, by the way.

STEWART: His signature on the money, it's a great event and it's really an honor for him, but I think her let them eat cake mentality is kind of insulting to average Americans.

LEMON: So Kevin, I'll give you the last word. You have 20 seconds. Who wants it?

BEINART: I mean, Donald Trump --

LEMON: You can have one too Kevin, I'm told.

[23:55:00] BEINART: Donald Trump -- supposedly this great populist and yet the Republican base sticks with him despite mounting evidence that in fact that he is the least populist President we've ever had in terms of --

LEMON: Billionaires, billionaires. Kevin go on.

MADDEN: I think we can probably say it's a little bit more innocent than it looks. We're probably over reacting a little bit. But I will say this. To Alice's point.

LEMON: It's still not smart.

MADDEN: You cannot give your opponents this type of free father for them to criticize you with and offer this, you know glaring depiction of what you may look as an out of touch photo.

LEMON: At least if you're going to do it you should hashtag it that are dollar bills you all.

STEWART: Can I just say, do we really think these folks deserve a tax cut? Do these people deserve a massive tax cut? I don't think so.

LEMON: I got to run. Thank you, I appreciate it. That is it for us tonight. I'll see you right back here tomorrow. Thanks for watching. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)