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CNN: source says Special counsel subpoenas Trump campaign; Trump tweets: The Al Frankenstein picture is really bad. Aired 11- Midnight ET
Aired November 16, 2017 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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[23:00:00:] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: has nothing to say about Moore but tweets this tonight about Al Franken. The Al Frankenstein picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words. Where do his hands go in pictures two, three, four, five and six while she sleeps?
Plus new developments in the Russia investigation. Source tells CNN Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants more Russia-related documents from the Trump camping.
A lot more and Jared Kushner is back under the microscope of Senate investigators tonight. Let's get right to CNN's Justice Correspondent Pamela Brown. Pamela, good evening to you. What are you learning tonight about what Robert Mueller's team is looking for from the Trump campaign?
PAMELA BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Don, we've learned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has issued a subpoena to the Trump campaign expanding search terms for documents related to the Russia investigation.
This is according to a source who told this to my colleague Gloria Borger. And the source describes it as a cleanup subpoena to basically cover more documents beyond what the campaign has already handed over which were the same documents it handed over to Congress.
And the subpoena is so wide ranging, Don, the source said it could take months to respond to this but for context, Mueller has issued lots of subpoenas throughout the investigation, so this isn't necessarily unusual or unexpected. However, we are told the White House has not received a similar subpoena. Don.
LEMON: All right, Pamela, also tonight Jared Kushner is again accused of with holding potentially significant documents from congressional investigators. What exactly are lawmakers looking for?
BROWN: Right, so the Senate Judiciary Committee released a laundry list of documents known to exist that Kushner hasn't provided to the committee's investigators. It's all related to Russia and the ongoing Congressional investigations.
They include communications related to Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, documents about his firing and his registration as a foreign agent. They also include documents about Kushner's security clearance.
If you recall, Kushner had to update that clearance form three times to include his meetings with foreign entities including Russians. Kushner as people claim, it was a clerical error but investigators want to know more.
The committee also asking for an e-mail chain that we know involved Donald Trump Jr. related to his direct messages with WikiLeaks in which Kushner then forwarded to Hope Hicks.
The committee also said Kushner didn't hand over communications with serving Millian, he is a Russian businessman who reportedly believe to be Source D in the infamous dossier.
The committee says Kushner was copied on some of those e-mails with Millian but he hasn't turned them over. The documents, also the one documents establishing a back door line of communications for Russians.
And phone records -- Kushner's phone records seem have shown up in other documents but he hasn't provided the committee. The committee says Kushner's team has failed to turn these documents over in the latest batch of production from early November.
We did receive a statement, Don, from Kushner's attorney which says in part we provided a judiciary committee with all relevant documents that had to do with Mr. Kushner's calls, contacts or meetings with Russians during the campaign in transition which was the request and statement says Kushner will continue to provide voluntarily cooperation.
LEMON: So, that is what they want. But what happens if Kushner's team doesn't turn over these documents to the committee, Pamela?
BROWN: Right, it raises that question because they have already been asked twice to turn over documents and clearly it hasn't been satisfying to Congressional investigators based on that list. So they could -- the committee could issue a subpoena if they came to that.
We have seen them do that as senators on the Hill involved in various Russia investigations issue subpoenas in other cases relating to Michael Flynn, relating to Paul Manafort and so that is entirely possible. So we will just have to wait and see how this all plays out. Don.
LEMON: All right, Pamela Brown, thank you so much.
BROWN: Thank you.
LEMON: I want to bring in now Republican Strategist Rick Wilson and John Flannery, the former federal prosecutor for Southern district of New York. Gentleman, good evening. John, you first.
I want to start with the Special Counsel who subpoenaed the Trump campaign for a number of documents related to Russia. What does that tell you about where this investigation is heading?
JOHN FLANNERY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: I think it is heading towards an end point. And I think that if they haven't already had people in the grand jury to talk about these things after they get these documents in House or as they get them in House, will use them to close up points they think they need to cover including perhaps this Wikipedia question.
And that may be one of the reasons that they have opened up their question to the campaign because now the loop is complete. We have people who are tied to Russia involved in the campaign. We have meeting with Russian authorities.
We have allegation that there was an invasion and an interception of electronic communications including various people including Podesta and now we find out WikiLeaks that supposedly got that made connections directly with the campaign. It is pretty hard to define that conclusion is that we have been betrayed by these guys who are sitting in the White House right now.
[23:05:00:] LEMON: Rick, as Pam, mentioned Jared Kushner is accused of with holding crucial information from Senate investigators including e-mails about WikiLeaks, Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite.
And a source of the Washington Post says it is connected to this -- that infamous dossier that has been reported on so much. How problematic is it that the committee knew about the e-mails and Kushner left them out of the documents that he turned over?
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think this displays a certain ignorance of the legal jeopardy he finds himself in both from the special prosecutor and with the committee on the part of Jared Kushner and his attorneys.
These are people who have gotten away with an awful lot for an awful long time. But the vice is starting to close in very tightly on them.
They are starting to realize that the amount of information that is out there that's in the hands of both the committee and the Special Counsel is enormous and the fact that he is playing cutesier with this and thinking he can get away with this sort of thing.
It really boggles the mind. And the fact of the matter is the law don't care that he is the son-in-law of the president. They going to bring the hammer down if he continues to evade and avoid, and continues to try to with hold relevant information in this investigation.
FLANNERY: What you got to ask yourself is, you know, part of a letter, and they said we asked for this, by the way, in the letter from Senate Judiciary Committee to Kushner. But you have to ask yourself when they are asking about security clearance, why does this guy still have security clearance?
And if the White House was a regular White House, why would you keep this guy working for you? You would throw him out the window and the answer is because like the Senate would said, the faith lead you to your destiny or drag you to it.
All these guys are being pulled, kicking and screaming to the truth that we know at heart and that we need to close off before they can do more damage to the republic.
LEMON: Jared Kushner's attorney responded tonight saying in part, he said we provided the judiciary committee with all relevant documents that had to do with Mr. Kushner's calls, contacts or meetings with the Russians during the campaign and transition which was the request. We also informed the committee we will be open to responding to any additional requests. Go on.
FLANNERY: I probably, we're both going to say the same thing. Go ahead. I think I cut you off.
LEMON: Go ahead, Rick.
WILSON: Yeah. Look, that's too cute by half. It's quite obvious if Charles Grassley and Dianne Feinstein in a bipartisan way and look, Grassley has not been a hostile actor towards this administration and this process.
He has not been somebody who has gone and had an axe to grind against the Trump administration or Jared Kushner, when it is wise as where the chairman and the ranking member of this committee send a fairly strongly worded letter that says we asked for X.
You gave us X minus 50 percent or whatever the number is and they can -- the lawyer can write as cutesy a letter as they want, that doesn't satisfy what the committee asked for.
And frankly I think it's going to make them more unified and more diligent about digging through this. And the question of, you know, why does Jared stole the security clearance, why is he still in the White House? You know, there's going to be a question, why isn't he wearing an orange jump suit if he doesn't start cooperating.
LEMON: Well let me ask you this because this is not the first time, Rick, that Jared Kushner has withheld information from lawmakers. I mean he had to amend his National Security questionnaire three times, remember?
First for omitting foreign contacts and then detailing over 100 calls with foreign officials, and again in June detailing the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian lawyer. I mean this is -- it's a pattern. Why can't he be up front?
FLANNERY: Well, twice his brother-in-law has put him in the hot seat because Trump Jr. first gave him up in the June 9th meeting because he was referenced in the e-mails as was at the meetings.
And now because he talked about Wikipedia we have him here now. And the reason the judiciary committee knows he doesn't have everything from this because they have e-mails from other people that he didn't supply in the chain of communication. This is the gang that can't shoot straight.
LEMON: So, Rick, luckily Sergei Millian, lawmakers say that Kushner had been made privy to communications with Sergei Millian but didn't turn over those records to investigators.
This is a Russian businessman who according to Washington Post is a source of salacious details in that now infamous dossier about the president's 2013 trip to Moscow. What does it say to you that Kushner was apparently with holding information about communications with him?
WILSON: You know, I think we are going to actually have to stop calling it the infamous dossier. Increasingly it is the accurate dossier, increasingly it's the damning dossier, increasingly it's the dossier that's going to hang around the neck of the Trump administration and drag them down.
More and more of the things that were asserted by this deal dossier have come to light and are being proven by external e-mails including from the Trump camp's own e-mail servers and by the records...
[23:10:00:] LEMON: But not all of them...
WILSON: Not all of them. Look, and I'm not asserting that everything is accurate, even Steele said this was very raw intelligence. This was not a polished final Intel thing that got, you know, like a national level intelligence matter.
But a lot of the connections that have been made from the dossier are now being proven separately without using the dossier's data you can prove connections to Russia and Trump in many of the other things that exist including their e-mail chain, including the national intelligence is available to the Special Counsel and to the committees.
And so this has become an outside validation. I think the dossier is now -- the reason they are so desperate to discredit every single aspect of is, that it has become a public Rosetta Stone for the behavior of the Trump campaign towards the Russians.
LEMON: John, according to lawmakers, Kushner's attorneys suggested providing some documents might implicate the president's executive privilege. Will that...
FLANNERY: How does the campaign involve executive privilege when he was a candidate? There is no executive privilege for that. And I don't see how anything that they are calling upon from the campaign falls into that category. And so -- I love Abbe Lowell. He is a good friend of mine.
LEMON: All right, gentlemen, thank you so much. I appreciate it. When we come back President Trump blasting Al Franken tonight over this picture and yet his press secretary spent much of the White House briefing today trying to explain why he said or tweeted nothing about Roy Moore.
[23:15:00:] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Senator Al Franken fighting for his political life tonight after a radio anchor Leeann Tweeden said he groped and kissed her without a consent (Inaudible), more than 10 years ago and President Trump slamming Franken tonight.
Here to discuss Dean Obeidallah, CNN.com opinion contributor, writer and reporter, Lauren Duca, CNN political commentator John Phillips and Tara Setmayer, a former communications director for congressman Dana Rohrabacher. Good evening to all of you.
It is a very sensitive conversation. But let's have a great conversation about this and what people at home want to know and want to talk about.
Dean, the president has been silent about Alabama Judge Roy Moore tonight but he tweeted this about Al Franken, reported us. He said the Al Frankenstein picture is really bad, speaks a thousand words.
Where do his hands go and pictures two, three, four, five and six, while she sleeps? And to think that just last week, he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape? We want to hear your thoughts.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, HOST, THE DEAN OBEIDALLAH SHOW: Well, I mean, hypocrisy of Donald Trump is again on display for everyone. I wish on the issue of like sexual misconduct or harassment, we would not have a partisan response.
I know we have everything is hyper partisan in today's society. But I really wish we would come to a point where we believe the victim, whether it's a woman or a man, and we go from there. Yes you can investigate the claims. I am a trial lawyer.
I haven't tried a case in years. You can look at the evidence of the case. For Donald Trump to play these games where he will not denounce Roy Moore unequivocally, Donald Trump brings to this the baggage of a man who bragged on Access Hollywood tape about harassing women.
Where 11 to 15 different women have come in forward about Donald Trump, it's horrible. There is no moral leadership and the women in this country need it and men need to hear that it is wrong.
LEMON: Tara, as I talked about this with my panel last hour, sources say the president hasn't wanted to comment on Moore because it draws attention to his own accusers. So doesn't this as well?
TARA SETMAYER, POLITICAL ANALYST, ABC NEWS: Of course, it does. We are like living in a really strange upside down world here where the president of the United States has the audacity to send a tweet out like this, castigating Al Franken when he has his own demons in this area. I mean it is unbelievable. Does he thinks that none of us remember and does he think that we
don't remember the Access Hollywood tape where he talks about how he just goes in and just kisses women, and that women will let him get away with it because he is a celebrity.
Like, it is so duplicitous that it's hard to stomach. And I can only assume that the professional staff in the White House is cringing at this because this is the last thing they needed to do.
He would have been better off just not saying anything, just staying silent and letting his surrogates speak even though I feel as though that he as the president of the United States, he should have absolutely come out and condemned Roy Moore.
But this is what happens when you elect a morally bankrupt person who has no ground to stand on when it comes to issues like this because he has been accused of it himself. So this is the problem with that. He is ashamed.
LEMON: It's anywhere between a dozen to 20, somewhere in that ballpark women who have accused the president of inappropriate behavior. So, John, I have to ask you because you know Leeann Tweeden the woman in this picture with Al Franken.
And as we have been talking about Leeann, you know, also says Al Franken forcibly kissed her, rehearsing for a USO skit, this is 2006. Franken apologized today writing this, he said, the first thing I want to do is apologize to everyone else who was part of that tour.
And to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women.
There is more I want to say but the first and most important thing and if it is the only thing you care to hear, that's fine is I'm sorry. Why do you say that there is no gray area when it comes to Franken, to Weinstein and to Judge Roy Moore?
JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because it's very simple, if you don't have two consenting parties, you don't proceed, right? With that situation with Leeann -- Leeann absolutely never consented on any possible level.
And this story it is very personal to me. She is a friend. She is a colleague. It makes me very angry to hear these details. The luckiest thing that happened to that pervert and for all was that she didn't wake up when he was groping her breast.
Because if she did, she would have kicked his ass and he had it coming. That's my one regret for this story. And you know, Don, I will tell you this, I have got a lot of friends in this business, women of all political stripes, Tamara Holder on the left, Scotty Nelson on the right, Lauren Sivan somewhere in between, we saw what happened here with Leeann Tweeden.
[23:20:00:] And they have experienced harassment. They have experienced assault. They have been treated in ways that women should never be treated in the work place. Enough is enough.
And all of us collectively have to say that we will not put up with this anymore. These people are just trying to work, they are just trying to make a living, they are just trying to put food on their family's table and they have to go out and they have to experience this. It's not right.
LEMON: Lauren, there is one key difference, though, and that is the responses. And let's be honest, Franken apologized. He is not saying he didn't do it. How does that change the conversation here? Because you have all these other men saying I didn't do it -- I didn't do it. You know, these women are lying. He is not saying that.
LAUREN DUCA, COLUMNIST, TEEN VOGUE: I think it is significant the way he took accountability and that the calls for an ethics investigation are something I would welcome.
I think that any elected official who has been accused of sexual misconduct of any kind should be put through full and complete ethics investigation in first and foremost, that includes the president.
And I hope that this conversation is reframing. What we are willing to accept from any half way decent HR department. The American citizens deserve an ethics investigation into the president.
LEMON: So as I heard my colleague Amanda Carpenter just saying, what's there to investigate? He has admitted it. He says he has apologized. Why do you need a Senate investigation of Al Franken when he says I did it and I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done it.
DUCA: I don't totally know that you do need that. Maybe he just needs to be removed from office. What are we willing to accept? What are our norms? What are our standards? What are we -- what kind of behavior is OK?
In fact, I don't think what Al Franken did is acceptable from an elected official. Because it really matter that I happen to align with him politically. I think that I love that Mitch McConnell is calling for an ethics investigation. Let's investigate the crap out off all of them
LEMON: Why the difference in the responses? You heard Lauren -- she aligns with Al Franken but you don't hear Republicans initially at least saying that About Roy Moore.
And the Republican Party down in Alabama, initially had said, if guilty. No one says I guess you have the picture here. Everyone said, if guilty -- if he kissed her which there are no witnesses. No one said it guilty. They just said it is unacceptable.
OBEIDALLAH: We see this double standard and it's not help -- I mean cultural norms are changing. I think that's the point, Lauren, and other are making, which is really important.
The idea now women should be able to come forward and know we are going to believe them, we're going to stand with them and we are going to push back against those who demonize these women, and get called liars by people on other networks frankly who do that. So the double standard in response is purely partisanship.
LEMON: Republicans are now pretty much in lock step, except you have the one that's down and you have the president saying, you know, the people of Alabama should...
OBEIDALLAH: Look, President Trump did one of the worst things you could ever do, last October he went on TV at a rally and accused the women of lying. Who could came out and said 15 women said he had sexually assaulted him.
OBEIDALLAH: And the crowd cheered and said these women are liars. And I'm going to sue all of them. And Roy Moore said very similar things, that is the message being sent by the Republican Party that I think it's OK and that is wrong.
LEMON: Can I say something real quick before I get to the break? I just want to ask this real quick, this is the apology about the photo.
I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way. But I said my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but it wasn't. I should not have done it. Do you think that being a comedian, is that relevant here?
OBEIDALLAH: I think to Al Franken it was that moment. He was clearly -- it is like a frat boy joke. But he was 55-years-old at the time, not 25...
LEMON: Also, if you seen the picture online. And she sent it to me, but there is another photo of him, (Inaudible) sent me the photograph and said, you know, she just send to me but it's a picture of him with his hand over -- does it make a difference that he is a comedian, and that it was kind of...
DUCA: I think we spend too much time discussing what makes a difference. We are so worried about the consequences that men have to...
LEMON: The only reason I'm asking is because he said it wasn't intended -- it was intended to be funny but he should not have done it.
DUCA: I just think we spend a lot of time unpacking nuances of abuser's intent. And he never have any agency in choosing their consequences as victims. And I wish that our conversation had more to do with fact that than the intricacies of what the men who degrade and undermine women are suffering as a consequence for their actions.
LEMON: We'll continue this discussion right after this. Don't go anywhere.
[23:25:00:] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: OK. So more bad news today for the former President George H.W. Bush, a new accusation that he groped a woman. Back with my political panel now. We have talked a little bit about this, Tara.
And the last time you were on the segment discussing this, at least seven women have come forward accusing the former President George H.W. Bush of groping them during a photo shoot.
Today a woman spoke exclusively to CNN saying the incident occurred while the president was in office back in 1992. Why do you say this is inappropriate but not sexual assault?
SETMAYER: Because it's not. You know, if you -- after that last segment when we talked about this a couple of weeks ago, I actually had women reach out to me who were rape victims and victims of like violent sexual assault that thanked me for making the distinction.
Because I think we need to make that distinction. Groping, you know, a pat on the butt or a swipe of the behind in a picture is completely inappropriate and I don't think it is OK.
I mean if the former president did that, that's not OK. It's creepy and he should be criticized for it I guess at this point for seeing a pattern.
But that's not sexual assault, you know. And I think I don't want what's happening to women when it is like real violations of their person, illegal acts of sexual assault being watered down for inappropriate behavior.
And I think a lot of people might get upset with that and say well, if a woman feels uncomfortable, she feels violated even if it's just a touch, who are you to judge how they react to that?
OK, maybe, but in my opinion I think we need to make sure that we don't let this get out of hand to the part where -- to the point where anyone who feels something that that's not a physical sexual assault, it's just not watered down. I think it takes away.
DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Do you think that Leeann Tweeden -- do you think that what happened with -- do you think that was sexual assault?
SETMAYER: Yes. Anytime that I think that there is a sexually intimacy part of it involved and the woman doesn't consent, that I think that that causes alarm for sure.
I mean what Al Franken did to her I think that that is sexual assault. Shoving your tongue down somebody's throat and mouth when they didn't consent I would say crosses that line. A pat in the butt, I think it's the same.
LEMON: Do you agree with that that it's not sexual -- that these things in between is what the former president is accused of doing, that's not sexual assault?
LAUREN DUCA, COLUMNIST, TEEN VOGUE: You know I think being a dirty old man and being an abuser are two different things. But at the same time, I want this to get out of hand.
I would rather -- I think we don't have to worry about overcorrecting for these things. And I think we should be vigilant. I think we can make distinctions and have nuance in our conversations.
LEMON: What do mean that you want to get it?
DUCA: I want this reaction to be forceful and impossible, and I want undermining, and degrading women even in ways that doesn't include physical assault to become acceptable.
And -- I think that having that treatment in the work place changes our metabolism, it changes the way we carry ourselves, it changes the opportunities we have, the conversations we can have.
I hope that the movement can extend our unbraided, that work too, the way we think about conduct in professional setting, assault is certainly different than groping and little comments. But these are all part of the problem.
LEMON: John, do you -- how do you feel? She said she hopes it gets out of hand. Do you worry that the pendulum will swing too far?
JOHN PHILLIPS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I don't think we have to reinvent the wheels here. Any sexual contact that's not consensual is out of bounds. And people know this.
And Jackie Speier who is a congresswoman from California is carrying legislation that has the leadership behind it that would provide training and provide educational resources for people on how to behave. I don't think we need that.
I don't think an HR video is going to get someone to behave. I think if you are a professional and you show up in a professional environment and you don't know you that you need to treat people with dignity and respect you are a lost cause and I say out with the rubbish. If you would...
LEMON: What do you say, John, to men who day...
SETMAYER: That would be half of Congress, though.
LEMON: What do you say to men who say... Listen, I don't know, I can't even -- you know, if you looked at a woman before in the past then you should be concerned. If you -- you know, anything even if it is a stupid joke. What do you say to that?
PHILLIPS: They are ridiculous but if you are shoving your tongue down someone's throat after they told you repeatedly they don't want it then I think you get the picture that what you are doing is something that is unwanted.
LEMON: Go ahead, Tara.
SETMAYER: I was going to say -- I think that some guidance is OK. I think what Jackie Speier is doing and Barbara Comstock, it is a bipartisan effort in women on Capitol Hill. I think that maybe some men need to be reminded what's not OK, what was OK to 30, 40, 50 years ago is not OK now.
And maybe they need to be reminded and there needs to be an enforcement policy and consequences for that conduct moving forward.
You know, you don't want if someone says, oh, he was looking at me strangely and they get kicked out of Congress for that, that is why I think it goes too far. But I don't see a problem with having an enforcement mechanism in place for really clearly inappropriate behavior.
PHILLIPS: What Al Franken did was never OK. What Harvey Weinstein did is never OK.
DEAN OBEIDALLAH, HOST, THE DEAN OBEIDALLAH SHOW: What Donald Trump has done....
PHILLIPS: What Bill Clinton did wasn't OK. I mean Bill Clinton is a rapist.
LEMON: And, John, would you include the president in there, as well?
PHILLIPS: I think that he certainly uses language like he is on a loading dock. Absolutely, nonstop all the time.
OBEIDALLAH: He bragged about sexual assault.
DUCA: Specific accusations, he doesn't just talk like he is on a loading dock.
PHILLIPS: We had a rapist in the White House for two terms and had a woman who ran interference for a rapist.
DUCA: More than a dozen specific details at how, John....
OBEIDALLAH: Let's talk about who is in the White House today. Donald trump is not giving us the moral leadership we need. The country is moving forward.
The time of mad men was a different period of time. We have move forward from that. Now we are about to move forward again. We are at another cultural norm movement. We don't have a president to show leadership on this issue. PHILLIPS: Do you think Bill Clinton is a rapist?
DUCA: That doesn't matter.
OBEIDALLAH: That's the truth right now.
PHILLIPS: Do you think he is a rapist...
OBEIDALLAH: Let people who can have moral leadership have a discussion on this issue.
PHILLIPS: Do you think he is a rapist though?
[23:35:00:] LEMON: Hold on, hold on. I know this is an uncomfortable conversation but this is what we are here to do to talk about the way people are talking. And this has been definitely political. People have brought up Bill Clinton. And he asked you a specific question. What do you say?
DUCA: Yes. Bill Clinton is absolutely guilty of sexual misconduct. I don't understand that...
LEMON: Again, again, that has not been proven in a court of law. But that's what people believe. Go on, you can go.
DUCA: He is absolutely been guilty of the same -- of having the same level of accusations of sexual misconduct that we are seeing with these figures that Bill Clinton's what aboutism is not relevant rhetoric to what is going on with the president.
LEMON: So, John, what is...
DUCA: So, John, are you going to admit that Donald Trump is a sexual harasser?
PHILLIPS: Yes. I mean the based on that Access Hollywood tape that was totally out of line. That is language that shouldn't be used under any circumstances.
I'm not going to defend him just because he is a Republican. We as a society, those of us in politics, those of us in media, we have to put our foot down with this sort of thing.
SETMAYER: You voted for him.
PHILLIPS: Well, did you vote for Hillary Clinton?
SETMAYER: No, I did not. I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton or Trump. I actually maintained my integrity.
PHILLIPS: We have the option for voting for a woman who ran interference for a rapist or a guy who uses really nasty language.
LEMON: Hang on. Hold on. Let me get that language specific for CNN. An accused rapist and the current president accused sexual harasser.
SETMAYER: Bragged about being a sexual harasser. I mean I just want us to be -- I just want the conversation to be intellectually honest because that is the problem I have with this. This is clearly a bipartisan issue, right?
SETMAYER: I mean it happened on both sides. And my issue with this conversation is that there are people who are making moral judgments against Roy Moore, right?
They are saying, oh well, Roy Moore -- we are not supposed to believe his accusers and we are not supposed to believe Donald Trump's accusers but we are supposed to believe Bill Clinton's accusers. It can't be both ways. It shouldn't be partisan.
LEMON: Thank you all. Fascinating conversation, we can't get all there. Thank you very much. When we come back, cranes reporting that the Trump brand is losing value fast but what is behind their shrinking profits?
[23:40:00:] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: House Republicans passing their tax bill today claiming all taxpayers will see a cut but the tax policy center says the biggest benefits go to wealthiest Americans, both the House and the Senate. Well, their plans would slash corporate tax rat, benefiting companies such as the Trump organization.
But there are new questions tonight about the president's company. Crain's New York Business is reporting that it is -- that his business is down and Aaron Elstein is here. He is a senior reporter who wrote the article.
And we are also joined by Richard Painter, he is a former White House ethics lawyer. Good evening to both of you. I think it is fascinating. I'm going to start with you, Aaron.
Because President Trump's approval rating isn't the only thing that has gone down since he took office. The Trump organization now is plummeted on the Crain's list.
New York's largely privately held companies from number three position which it held last year all the way to number 40. What factors -- this is a seat drop. What are the factors here? AARON ELSTEIN, SENIOR REPORTER, CRAIN'S NEW YORK: Some things are
smaller than they claim to be. He told us for years and claimed for years this company was making billions of dollars, Trump Organization.
I think last year he said it was $9.5 billion. Well now we have these records with federal personal financial disclosures and it shows that Trump Organization, if you just do the math, it makes $700 million in revenue. So that's about 90 percent smaller in what he was saying. So reality is hit and this is what Trump Organization is really all about.
LEMON: OK. So, listen, according to this report in the Wall Street Journal -- report from the Wall Street Journal, the average price per square foot in Trump Tower has fallen 23 percent in 2015.
His golf businesses are also struggling. Revenue is down by 1.1 million at Trump golf links, (Inaudible). And we also learned through Washington Post reporting that the number of professional sports teams have dropped people who are staying at his hotel. What part of the Trump Organization is taking the biggest hit, you think?
ELSTEIN: Wow, all of it. I mean, hotels. Listen, if you have a choice of hotels to stay at, are you going to stay at a Trump hotel. If have a choice to play golf, are you going to play at the Trump gold course?
I mean some of his fans, sure they will. But people in like New York for example, don't forget like 80 percent of New York City voted for Hillary. So, you know, Trump brand isn't very good in the city right now.
You know, the fact that people you know, you can -- the part of the Trump Tower now is 25 percent, what is it a year or two ago in this city, really? That's amazing.
LEMON: Yes, interesting. Richard, does a negative -- does a negative impact from Trump's presidency seems to be having an effect on his businesses. Does that surprise you?
RICHARD PAINTER, FORMER ETHICS LAWYER, WHITE HOUSE: No, not at all. I mean he has always been a much better talker than businessman. I mean we have got the Trump wine, the Trump steaks, Trump university, the Taj Mahal casino he have in New Jersey, where the bomb (Inaudible), all failures.
We have the Trump presidency. I don't think that is doing that well either. But he has always been a good talker. And what we are seeing with these numbers is the reality and his presidency certainly hasn't helped his businesses.
But he struggled before as a business person and had several bankruptcies, and then he moved on to the next thing. Then of course we have this experience with the United States football league and the New Jersey generals which explains his bitterness towards the NFL. And now of course it's going to be hard to expect NFL players. [23:45:00:] And other professional sports teams to come stay at his
hotels where he's braided everybody. Well, the stand and held during the National Anthem. It goes on and on. He really is not being an effective president and he was not ever really a very effective businessman.
LEMON: Do you think that the presidency is the worst thing that could have happened for the Trump brand and for his business?
ELSTEIN: Most of Trump's properties are in pretty blue states. So these are not people who are inclined to give him business if they can avoid it. You know, if you look at where Trump has a lot of business, New York, Illinois, Florida, too. People have got alternatives. You don't need to stay at the Trump hotel.
LEMON: Richard, many of the Trump organization officials have also been tied up in the scandals surrounding his presidency, his son Don Jr. having to testify before Congress.
The Senate Intel Committee is looking at to speak to Trump organization attorney Michael Cohen. Could all of these distractions and scandals play a role in why the Trump Organization has been struggling lately or is not, you know, the brand or the money maker it once was?
PAINTER: I think it can be a big problem because if you do deals with the Trump organization you could get brought into these investigations. And people around the world know that.
There are some people more than happy to do deals with the Trump organization but they appear to be the shadier characters around the world and one of the reasons he has been expanding his business globally is that he has faced limited opportunities in the United States.
And people don't want to deal with him here borrowing money for the Trump organization been very hard in the United States since the 1990s when he failed to pay back a lot of loans. So he has been borrowing money up overseas.
So he is always chasing new business opportunities. There are a lot of people just simply don't want to deal with the Trumps whether for political reasons or they just don't want to get caught up in all of these investigations.
And that includes the banks that deal with him and they get caught up in investigations. It's not a very good situation, right. He failed to separate his business from the presidency also. And that is drawing a lot of criticism.
LEMON: Thank you, both. I appreciate it. When we come back, the former treasury secretary who said House Republican's tax the bill is -- his words, madness and a serious policy era. We're going to bring you more from Larry Summers, next.
[23:50:00:] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: President Trump has been putting a lot of pressure on Republican leaders in Congress to pass a tax cut bill. Today the House took action. I want to bring in now CNN special correspondent, Jamie Gangel. Always good to see you.
House Republicans elated today for passing this tax bill, but the Senate's version that's coming up, it's going to be different than the House version. And you spoke to the former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. He had a lot to say about it. Tell us about it.
JAMIE GANGEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He did. And he's always outspoken. Today was no exception. He said that everything from that this would be cuts for the middle class is irresponsible. He thinks that members of the Trump cabinet should have resigned by now, but we started by asking him about the repeal of the mandate.
LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER TREASURY SECRETARY: Jamie, this is madness. It is madness to spend $300 billion taking health insurance away from more than 10 million Americans in order to finance tax cuts for the top one percent of Americans. What values are served by doing that? Moreover, who is going to pay for the health care when the people show up in emergency rooms?
GANGEL: The administration says this tax plan will give middle class Americans a tax break. They say the corporate tax rate will stir investment. You say about this plan?
SUMMERS: I think this plan will bloat our deficit, favor the most affluent and mortgage our future.
GANGEL: From your...
SUMMERS: It's a serious -- it's a serious policy error.
GANGEL: The Trump administration is still saying it could give Middle Americans a salary increase of $4,000 to $9,000.
SUMMERS: It's a nonsense claim. Yes, there may be some stimulus to investment and yes, that may have some impact on wages, but no serious expert who looks at the actual plans under discussion has or will support the $4,000 to $9,000 claim.
GANGEL: In a word you think the claim is...
SUMMERS: Ludicrous, absurd, not going to happen.
GANGEL: Bottom line, is there anything good about this tax plan?
SUMMERS: There are some very limited efforts to contain some abuse involving tax havens which if substantially extended and expanded could be quite valuable. There's the idea of extending the child tax credit. That is a quite valuable idea. But in its totality I think this plan is a serious error. GANGEL: You have taken on Treasury Secretary Mnuchin recently.
You've said the administration's claims about the tax plan were, quote, dishonest, incompetent and absurd. Did you go too far? Has it gotten too personal?
SUMMERS: No. No. I said that with respect to his specific claim that the tax plan would pay for itself. When he made the claim he referenced a published treasury study. There is no published treasury study.
There is no serious economist, nor any reading of the experience to support his claim that the tax bill will pay for itself. I've been doing this for a lot of years, and I've never said anything like that about any public official before.
[23:55:00:] But when claims public unmoored from any possible reality, I think it's important to call that out. The specific claim that the treasury secretary has made repeatedly that the tax bill will pay for itself by spurring economic growth, I respect the office enormously, so it pains me to say, it's nonsense.
GANGEL: It's nonsense.
GANGEL: Why do you think he's saying it?
SUMMERS: You'll have to ask him why he's saying it. I imagine that is not easy to have Donald Trump as a boss. I have been very surprised and disturbed that there have not been principled resignations from the Trump administration.
Certainly I would have resigned from any administration of which I was a part that had gone anything like this far in terms of fake facts on the economic side or in terms of embracing racists in its political rhetoric. And I'm surprised and disappointed. I don't know how some of these people face their children.
GANGEL: You would have resigned.
SUMMERS: I would have resigned, absolutely.
GANGEL: As a professor, overall grade you'd give him.
SUMMERS: Anybody at the end of their first year gets an incomplete.
GANGEL: Generous, considering everything else he said.
LEMON: Who does he think in the administration should resign?
GANGEL: He was very specific. He actually carved out -- he said not national security people. He said that he thought that they were trying to hole the line and had an important job. But he did think that a lot of the people, the economic people, maybe
the treasury secretary, maybe people on economic advisers, he thinks that they should have resigned on principle.
LEMON: Does he think Republicans will pass these tax cuts.
GANGEL: I don't think that he knows whether that's going to happen. I think -- you know, none of us know. But I think that he thinks there's a good chance of it.
LEMON: Jamie Gangel, thank you.
GANGEL: Thank you.
LEMON: That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.