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President Trump Silent On Roy Moore, Blasted Al Franken; Middle Class Tax Cuts Expire After 2025; Trump Puts Big Game Trophy Decision On Hold; Trump's Week In Review; Women Rally In Alabama; Trump Tweets At Franken, Stays Quiet On Moore; CNN HeroesAired 11-Midnight ET

Aired November 17, 2017 - 23:00   ET


[23:00:05] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: This is CNN tonight, I am Don Lemon, it is 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast, we're live with breaking news tonight that black cloud of Russia that Russia investigation, it's getting darker, CNN has learned that White House senior advisor Jared Kushner, the President's son-in-law told congressional Russian investigators that he did not communicate with WikiLeaks and did not recall anyone on the campaign who did on the Trump campaign who did, but it turns out he did receive and forward an e-mail from none other than Donald Trump Jr. about his contacts with WikiLeaks. More on that in a moment.

But all of this comes as President Trump is dodging as fast as he can to avoid talking about Roy Moore and his sexual abuse allegations while simultaneously blasting Al Franken and overtly drawing attention to his own past accusers. Can you believe it all happened this week? Let's get right now to our breaking news on the Russia investigation, CNN's justice correspondent Evan Perez has that, Evan.

EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Don, Jared Kushner told congressional investigators that he didn't communicate with WikiLeaks and didn't recall anyone in the Trump campaign who did. But we now know from disclosures this week that Donald Trump Jr. sent an e-mail to Kushner and others in the campaign last year to pass on information that he learned from WikiLeaks. And Kushner then forwarded that e- mail to Hope Hicks, one of the closest aides to then candidate Trump and now the communications Director of the White House. Now what this latest revelation does is it turns up pressure on Kushner to go back to Capitol Hill for more interviews and explain himself.

We heard this week from the leaders of the senate judiciary committee who sent a public letter to Kushner's lawyers saying Kushner had failed to turn over documents that they know exist. And that includes information about WikiLeaks. Now Abby Lowell, Kushner's attorney says that the WikiLeaks is a gotcha question, he adds in over six hours of voluntary testimony, Mr. Kushner answered all questions put to him and demonstrated that there had been no collusion between the campaign and Russia. And Lowell also says that Kushner has complied with the committee's document request. He also said that the senate judiciary committee should ask other congressional committees for the transcripts of their Kushner interviews and that they should ask the White House for additional documents. Don.

LEMON: Evan Perez, thank you so much. I want to bring in now CNN national security analysis, Juliette Kayyem, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti and Josh Meyer, senior investigative reporter for Politico. Good evening one and all, Juliette we learned tonight that Jared Kushner testified, he had not communicated with WikiLeaks and did not recall anyone on the Trump campaign who had.

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Yes, at some point, I don't know what the number is, but they do not recall -- I do not recall becomes a lie. And I don't know if Jared Kushner has crossed into that territory, but at some stage, his I don't recall that that happened, I forgot to give them the paperwork, I still can't get my security clearance, all of that is showing that there is a bit of a bullseye on Jared Kushner. The other thing to remember is his forwarding of this WikiLeaks e-mail is really interesting.

He forwards it to Hope Hicks who everyone in reports about the campaign and reporters who covered the campaign know she was the sort of information conduit to Donald Trump. He is not actually forwarding it to Hope Hicks, the question is has Hope Hicks then forwarded it to Donald Trump who I don't think does e-mail that much. That is a big question for the committee. And then finally very quickly, what I'm very curious about is what did he have commentary in those forwarded e-mails. So all the sudden now we learn about those e-mails. He forwards the WikiLeaks e-mail to Hope Hicks, does it say this is outrageous? We shouldn't be talking to WikiLeaks, does it say, this is so cool, look what we got. And that is -- Mueller knows that so Jared Kushner needs to fess up. It's a very bad day for Jared Kushner.

LEMON: Renato, the communication we learned about this week between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks, I mean, this is a sticking point here. Could this amount to perjury for Kushner?

RENATO MARIOTTI, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think, you know, in and of itself it's going to be -- it can be a challenge because he is going to say I didn't remember that, I forgot that e-mail, et cetera, and I think what Juliette was saying is, you know, the question is how much -- how many lies were there? What evidence does, for example, Mueller have that he had this in his mind earlier. So let me give you an example. Let's say that there's a lot of e-mail traffic about these direct messages. Let's say he was on 100 e-mails about it, or there was recent e-mails discussing how much of a problem this could be if there was an investigation. Then I could see there being a charge. If this was a one off e-mail that happened back during the campaign and nothing else came of it, it'll be harder to do. Because your viewers should know that the federal prosecutors have to prove that you knowingly and willingly made a false statement and that is why it's harder on my things sometimes to prove that someone told the lie to congress.

[23:05:08] LEMON: So Josh, President Trump and his team would have you believe that this George Papadopoulos role with the campaign was a minor one. What have you learned about that?

JOSH MEYER, SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, POLITICO: Well, Don, I mean I think that, you know, as Juliette and Renato were talking about, there's a lot of I don't recall and that wasn't made apparent to me is also the case with Papadopoulos. I mean, you know, he is a master of self-promotion, like some of these other guys, Carter Page, et cetera, what he was telling Greek reporters in real-time during the campaign was that he had a very sort of, you know, important role in the campaign, he had some personal one on one conversations with Donald Trump.

Trump invited him to a meeting March 21st at the still unfinished Trump hotel after which there was a news conference and so, you know, who knows if it's true or not, but I think Mueller and his team, you know, are looking at e-mails, they're looking at text messages, phone calls, all of that stuff and they'll be able to triangulate all that and figure out if it's true. It does begs the question when Trump was asked who his national security team was and he threw out these five names, March 21st at a Washington Post editorial meeting, he did say that, you know, the only person he singled out for any kind of personal endorsement was Papadopoulos and he said he is an energy and oil consultant, you know, excellent guy. So, you know, why did he do that if he had never met him? It just raises a lot of questions.

LEMON: Listen, let me ask you because there are so many people talking about Jared Kushner, Papadopoulos, all of these people who supposedly had some sort of role in the campaign, at least when it comes to Russian relations whatever they had. Juliette, listen, what about this quote back to overture at dinner invite by Russia, another attempt to reach the Trump campaign?

KAYYEM: This is a story that broke today, another forgetfulness by Jared Kushner regarding an e-mail or request to have a back door channel through, to the Trump campaign, at of all places the NRA meeting which is out there and not so random, right? So Kushner pushes back and says, look, we don't know who these guys are, some of these Russian guys are just jokesters and we need to be very careful. I think there's two things in this story that are not so beneficial to Jared Kushner. The first is there's no suggestion that other Russians should -- the Trump campaign should avoid other Russians, in other words, because they didn't know who this guy was, they should be careful, but there is no sort of guys, we shouldn't be discussing this stuff with Russians who are aligned with WikiLeaks.

And the second thing is, in the narrative about sort of defending Jared Kushner, all of the sudden we start hearing about Mike Flynn again. And what the lawyers are saying are sort of saying well you have to get to Mike Flynn. So once again, Mike Flynn who no one quite knows what he is doing right now, is he talking, is he defending himself? Mike Flynn becomes yet a character again in this Russia investigation. So this story is just another piece of, I don't remember, I don't remember talking to the Russians and then low and behold, there's lots of Russians around the Trump campaign.

LEMON: Josh, why are you shaking your head?

MEYER: Juliette, Juliette and I go way back and she is smart and knows all this stuff, but yeah, selective amnesia is a great way of putting it. They have long ago jumped the shark when it comes to like using, I don't recall, as a valid excuse here. You know, Jared Kushner in particular is a lawyer, he is not a dumb guy, and they've been sort of, you know, relying on that over and over and over again, and it's, you know, I would love to be a fly on the wall in the Mueller investigation room, because they have some really, really bad ass prosecutors, lawyers, FBI agents, and, you know, they're amassing a body of evidence against this guys, using their own e-mails and things that I think at the end of the day are going to show that everything they have been saying to the point where they keep talking about stuff that they think people aren't going to find out about and we're going to find out later that it wasn't true.

But the one thing I would like to add is that Jack Barsky who was on earlier made a really good point which is, you know, don't really look at what the Trump campaign was trying to, you know, do in terms of intentional collusion. Look at what the Russians were doing. These guys have been doing this for decades. They're really, really good at it and they have a concept called, you know, you know, useful idiots in which they're playing these guys naive people, maybe well-meaning or whatever, but, you know, they, you know, systematically were going after people in Trump campaign, picking them off, isolating them and trying to use them to get access to the campaign, and that is what the Mueller people are really looking at. You've got to look at the Russians as much as you are looking at the Trump people and seeing what kind of puppet strings they were pulling.

LEMON: Renato, do you want to weigh in?

[23:10:00] MARIOTTI: Yes, you know one thing that Josh was talking about was, you know, for example how unbelievable these I don't recalls are. And I think as a lawyer, you know, if Jared Kushner for example is charged with something else, if he is done some other crime, you know, all of these I don't recalls, all of these inconsistent statements will be used against him if he takes the witness stand. And that is where, you know, for any of these people who are involved in the Trump campaign, that is the real potential downside for them, you know, in this -- with all of these I don't recalls and all of these back and forth that may be inconsistent, because it really can hurt your credibility in front of a jury. A jury is not going to buy anything you have to say as people in the same selective amnesia. The other question, and that is the more tricky one that I was talking about earlier, are the false statements enough to get them charged on their own, and I think that is a more challenging question.

LEMON: Thank you all, I appreciate it. When we come back, can you believe it was just this week that President Trump returned from his big Asia trip. He is tweeting away about Al Franken, but a deafening silence when it comes to sexual assault allegations against Roy Moore. How long can the President go without addressing that?


[23:15:19] LEMON: Broad weekend is ban for the president, President Trump, I guess you can say a heck of a week. Let's discuss now CNN political reporter Rebecca Berg is here, Political commentator David Swerdlick and Presidential historian Timothy Naftali, Hello everyone, Rebecca, as I said, what a week. REBECCA BERG, POLITICAL ANALYST, CNN: What a week. TGIF as they say,

Don. You know, President's back from Asia and he is wasting no time getting back to business, getting back to peak Donald Trump. He returned to twitter. That was the big news this week. And he is back with a vengeance. Republicans and, you know, Democrats alike were excited for the President to leave for Asia, not only to not have him in town, but to see his twitter output decrease. We've seen him come back tweeting about Al Franken, tweeting at the UCLA athletes. It's been a heck of a week as you said.

LEMON: I want to take you back to what we heard from President Trump when he got back from Asia. Listen to this.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Last night I returned from a historic 12 day trip to Asia. Everywhere we went our foreign hosts greeted the American delegation, myself included, with incredible warmth, hospitality, and most importantly, respect. When we are confident in ourselves, our strength, our flag, our history, our values, other nations are confident in us. The days of the United States being taken advantage of are over. NATO, believe me is very happy with Donald Trump.


LEMON: So, caught me off guard there, he is speaking of himself in the third person, and he does that a lot. His actions this week I think sort of prove that he wants to be the center of attention and I'm talking about his speech to Al Franken, and really just coming back and saying what I did on my vacation when we all carried every moment of it pretty much live.

TIMOTHY NAFTALI, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, you know, besides the dry mouth, it was surprising that he felt he had to give us a travel log. I mean, that is the part that was the most interesting about it. You know, and then, and then, and then, and what became clear is that if you throw a glitzy Party for him, he is going to be very happy. It was one of the strangest after trip speeches given by an American President.

LEMON: But I knew, David listen, I knew when they said well the President -- maybe he is going to take questions. He might take questions, maybe he is going to talk about Roy Moore. He is not going to talk about Roy Moore. He wants to tout what he did in Asia. He is going to walk away and he is going to go wait a minute, we didn't get to answer questions about Roy Moore.

DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No Don, I think travel log was a good word that timothy just described there. I would use the expression that my wife used often which is there is a high word to content ratio in that speech, right? He talked a lot about who he saw, we met, who we were respected, but didn't address the fact that, you know earlier on his presidency, he pulled out of TPP and the 11 countries that we abandoned with TPP are moving forward on a multilateral agreement without us. Didn't really address the fact that there's only been this sort of marginal incremental progress if that at best with China on North Korea. It was mostly a third person, you know, exultation of Donald Trump by Donald Trump.

LEMON: Yes. So Rebecca, earlier this week, CNN reported, one reason that the President was apprehensive about weighing in on the Roy Moore allegations was because he didn't want the conversation to turn to his past accusers, but he did that -- he brought the attention squarely to his doorstep, because he tweeted about Al Franken. He couldn't help himself.

BERG: Right. I mean, it's a political issue in this case for him. He sees this very easy target, a Democrat, with photographic evidence of misconduct and, you know, he couldn't help himself. Very characteristic for Donald Trump, but I think there's another factor here when we think about the President's response or lack of any sort of reaction to this race here in Alabama, and it's worth remembering that he did weigh in in the primary, he voiced his support for Luther Strange, the serving Senator currently who lost in the primary to Roy Moore, and Donald Trump also voiced his support recently in the race for governor in Virginia for Ed Gillespie who lost that race. So Donald Trump is now a two-time loser in these political contests and his political brand is on the line. So it's a risk for him as well to go out on a limb, try to shape this race --

LEMON: Rebecca --

BERG: And speak out against Roy Moore.

LEMON: I did not support him during the primary, I supported Luther Strange, I was right --

BERG: Sure.

[23:20:00] LEMON: There's a way that you can turn it, you can always spin it.

BERG: But by the same token, this is the pickle that we've seen so many Republicans in this week, Don, if Donald Trump then going to support Doug Jones, the Democratic candidate? You can't imagine that he would want a Democrat in the senate when, you know, he might be nominating a new Supreme Court justice or he wants to pass tax reform or this other major policy priorities. It helps him to have that, you know, it's a narrow majority that they have in the senate right now, but it helps to have even that narrow 52 vote majority and so, there is an incentive in spite of these, you know, really troubling allegations for Donald Trump to want a Republican. It's not -- you could see from a political perspective, not to say anything about the moral or ethical perspective here, but from a political perspective, you could see why he would be not eager to enter this race.

LEMON: Party over morality, I mean Tim, this is straight up your alley. You're a historian. Have you ever seen any President who's had so many blinders when it comes to his own problems and constantly needs a headline day after day after day, good or bad?

NAFTALI: Well, that is something new. Donald Trump is the social media --

LEMON: Certain amount of ego to want to be President of the United States.

NAFTALI: Not every egotist is a narcissist. Here's the thing that is really striking about Trump right now, Moore is the anti-establishment play, and Trump wants to be, still, the anti-establishment candidate. Most of his tweets are anti-establishment tweets. And define the establishment, the media, establishment of the Republicans, you get it. And his problem is that his anti-establishment allies are all failing him.

They're all disappointing him. And Moore is a disaster for Trump. An absolute disaster, because Moore if he goes down, takes down Bannon too. And Bannon is useful to Trump. So I think there's a lot going on here, it's not just that President Trump doesn't want to talk about allegations of sexual and predatory behavior, because they affect him too, it's because his brand is an anti-establishment brand and it is tied to Moore whether he likes it or not.

LEMON: David, help me out on time here, how long can he avoid speaking directly on Roy Moore?

SWERDLICK: He can avoid it for a long time, if not forever, unlike a typical politician, President Trump is not sort of -- he is impervious to feeling shame. Senator Franken was ashamed of what was revealed yesterday, and he addressed it and apologized. People can think what they want of it, but President Trump doesn't do that. If something makes him look bad, he moves forward. He doesn't look back.

LEMON: Thank you all. When we come back, Republicans promoting their tax plan as a tax cut for the middle class. The numbers, they tell a very different story, plus, why the rush and the lack of detail on something that could impact every single American in just about 90 days.


[23:27:14] LEMON: Republicans say they have no intention of raising taxes on the middle class, but when you do the math, the picture is different. Let's take a closer look now, Brianna Keilar, CNN Washington correspondent is here. Good evening Brianna. Republicans are selling their tax plan as a tax cut for the middle class, but is that true?

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, there's some short term middle class tax relief in the bills, Don, but no question that most of the benefit do goes to the ultra-rich and the corporations. I want to show you what we mean here. If you own a private jet, well the senate bill has a tax break related to the storing and maintenance of private planes. If you send your kids to private school, the house bill lets rich parents put $10,000 a year tax-free to pay for it. Republicans say they are getting rid of loopholes, but the house did keep this one a tax break for golf course owners who pledged to keep their property undeveloped. This is a tax break that benefits the Trump organization specifically since, of course, it owns multiple courses.

And remember during the campaign when President Trump said that hedge fund managers were getting away with murder, because of a certain tax break. Well, that is one that is called the carried interest loophole, and it still exists in both the house and senate bills, although it is reigned in a bit. But maybe the biggest giveaway to the rich is the estate tax. Under current law, it doesn't apply to the first $5.5 million that is passed on as inheritance. Well the house bill would double that to $11 million and get rid of the estate tax entirely in 2024 and by the way, the tax policy center estimates that aside from super rich individuals, only about 80 small farms and businesses will even pay this tax this year, Don.

LEMON: Ok. So the richest Americans are getting plenty of breaks, you just described some of them, what about the middle class, Brianna?

KEILAR: Well the rich are getting nice goodies, then at the same time a lot of the middle class tax breaks, they're actually going to go away. Republicans argue that a bigger standard deduction will make up for that, but just look at some of the optics here, the house bill removes a $250 deduction that teachers can take for buying school supplies for their classrooms. This is an expense that many teachers pay out of pocket, because their school district cannot cover the cost. The senate bill actually doubles it, so this is something that is going to have to be worked out in conference. And the house bill also takes away the student loan deduction.

About 12 million people use that in 2015, so many people, it also ends a handful of education tax credits as well as tax breaks for graduate school, tuition, and employer tuition assistance. According to the joint committee on taxation, these changes will cost students and families more than $71 billion over the next decade, Don.

LEMON: But you mentioned some sort of relief for the middle class. Why is it short term?

[23:29:50] KEILAR: Well because the tax rates that the middle class, that they do get, they don't last. In the senate version, the vast majority of individual tax cuts expire after 2025, this includes the expanded child tax credit, the bigger standard deduction as well. And then cuts in individual rates.

But the corporate tax cut and most of the other goodies for businesses, those are actually permanent. So it's a big reason why the joint committee on taxation found this, that in the senate bill, all Americans will get significant tax cults the first year, but then when you look in 2021, families who are earning 10,000 to $30,000 a year, middle class, of course, they're actually going to pay more, then by 2027, taxes go up for all Americans who are making $75,000 or less, Don.

LEMON: Yes, all right. Brianna, I have to ask you about something, something that you reported on yesterday and on this program as well. The President tonight changing his mind about reversing the ban on elephant trophies from African countries, trophies like these that his sons posted years ago, what can you tell us about it? KEILAR: Imports of this trophies Don, which we discuss last night,

this are -- would come from hunts in Zimbabwe, they were banned under the Obama administration because elephants are endangered and their numbers are plummeted on the African savannah in recent years and because the governments specifically weren't doing enough to ensure conservation. That is what the Obama administration said, but then yesterday, the fish and wildlife service said it was going to start issuing permits to allow these elephant trophies in from those countries.

They said it would actually help elephant conservation, but there was a huge backlash, you had that from conservationists, very interested public in this issue, and so then you have this rare reversal tonight, President Trump tweeted this out, he said put big game trophy decision on hold until such time as I review all conservation facts, under study for years will update soon with secretary Zinke, thank you, then Interior Secretary Zinke put out this statement, President Trump and I have talked and both believe that conservation and healthy herds are critical as a result in a manner compliant with all applicable laws, rules, regulations, the issuing a permit is being put on hold as the decision is being reviewed. I mean Don, it's just worth pointing out, you don't see reversals very often with this administration and this is one we are witnessing tonight.

LEMON: Uh-huh. We're going to have more on this, Brianna, double duty, talking about two different subjects tonight. Have a great weekend. More on this after the break.


[23:37:09] LEMON: Republicans are betting the farm on their big tax overhaul, but is this plan really what voters want? Joining me now, CNN political commentator is a former Clinton White House aide. Good evening gentlemen Scott Jennings. He was special assistant to President George W. Bush and Keith Boykin is a former Clinton White House aide, good evening gentlemen. Scott, let's just say that people wanted this tax cut plan. Pulling out this week from Quinnipiac say voters disapprove of the GOP tax plan by 52 to 25 percent, even if they did want it, are you concerned that something this big and this complex and this impactful on every American is being rushed through congress for the sake of a political one?

SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, I don't think it's being rushed, it's going through regular order, it went through regular order in the house, and it's going through a regular process in the senate. They went through an amendment process in the finance committee is going to hit the floor. Anybody with an idea can offer up an amendment. So I think the regular order piece of it here really sort of debunks the concept that this is being rushed.

People want a tax cut, everybody's going to get a tax cut in this bill. Republicans ran on this and they won the election, to say the American people don't to want see their taxes cut and tax reform done would really fly in the face of what happened in the election that Republicans won last year, because it was a center piece of their advertising. LEMON: Keith, couple of Republican Senators have already expressed

concern about the houses version, watch this.


KEVIN HASSET, CHAIR, WHITE HOUSE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS: The President has supported from the beginning regular order, because he doesn't think that we have to wait until the thing becomes law to learn what's in it. The right thing to do is expose the bills to scrutiny and debate and Senator Johnson, I met with him yesterday in his office has some serious concerns and it's appropriate at this point in the legislative process to bring those forward and, you know, I'm hopeful that people can work it out and that everybody even Democrats will end up wanting to vote for it.


LEMON: So Keith, not one Democrat in the house voted for the plan. Do you really think any Democratic Senators there vote for it?

KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's unlikely. This bill, the proposal that is in the house and the one they're talking about in the senate is contradictory to Democratic principles. It's contradictory to what the American people want. . I mean the idea that they're taking federal tax resources, they're giving money to people who have private jets, to people who have estates worth more than $5.5 million. To wealthiest one tenth of 1 percent of Americans to those people at the same time they're taking away benefits from working class people who actually are getting benefits for example college tuition tax credits or people who are getting benefits for teachers who are paying for school supplies, and the average person who makes more than -- who makes less than $30,000 a year is going to see their taxes rise in 2021, those who make less in $75,000 a year will see their taxes rise and 2027, that is not American, that is taking from the poor and giving to the rich. It's reverse Robin Hood. You might even call this plan, the Ivanka, Don Jr., and Eric retirement plan. That is how bad it is.

[23:40:09] LEMON: Wow. Scott, let's talk about more polling here. This is a new Quinnipiac poll, it shows that almost two to one, they think that the proposals benefit the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. Some of the potential casualties that Keith just talked about here, teachers who pay out of their own pockets for school supplies would no longer be able to deduct them. Student loans, student loan interests would also no longer be deductible, do you worry about the optics of this bill when it already seems unpopular before it's even out of the gate, even though as you said it's going through regular order?

JENNINGS: Well, number one, a lot of the deductions are going away because the standard deduction is being doubled, the child tax credits are going up as well. So what they're trying to do is take away a lot of the individual deductions so they can bring the rates down for everybody. Number two, I'm not surprised about this polling, because every time Donald Trump and the Republicans throw out a piece of legislation, we get nothing, but yarns and canards and old tales spun by the Democrats telling us, you know, this, that, and other. It's just not true.

Let's take this private jet thing for instance, this is not a tax increase any way, it is merely cleaning up unclear federal language. It is not a tax cut, I'm sorry for private jet owners. Do you know how I know that? Because the guy that wrote the provision of the bill is Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, a liberal Democrat. Don't take my word for it. Take the Democrats word for it who wrote this, but the Democrats trot this talking point out to try to destabilize it. They don't care about this policy. They don't to want vote for this policy, they don't to want cut anybody's taxes, they care about one thing, making Donald Trump a failure as President and not letting the Republicans get a legislative win. That is it. They'll make things up to try to make that happen.

BOYKIN: Can I just -

LEMON: Yes, absolutely. Go ahead. You have 30 seconds, sorry, don't mean to rush you.

BOYKIN: First, it's not Democrats, it's a joint committee on taxation that is making these decisions. That is a congressional body, it's not a bunch of partisan Democrats. Secondly, if you're talking about Sherrod Brown, I want to point out that Sherrod Brown wisely noted just a few days ago in his conversation with Orin Hatch that corporations don't just give away money, because they have extra money lying around and the whole principle of the corporate tax cut in this plan is that somehow corporations are going to invest more and increase wages. There's no evidence that is going to happen. The trickledown economics that the Republicans have been practicing since the Reagan administration has failed and this policy, this tax plan just perpetuates that mythology.

LEMON: All right. Thank you both, have a good weekend. When we come back. The President likely counting the tax bill passing in the house as a win, but how is the rest of this week gone for him? Our radio guys will join me next for their take.


[23:47:10] LEMON: A group of Republican women rallied in Alabama today in support of senate candidate Roy Moore. Earlier I talked to the rally organizer Becky Gerritson.


LEMON: Here's a new Fox News poll I want to put it up. Democrat Doug Jones is now leading Roy Moore by eight points that is among likely voters and among women likely to vote. Doug Jones has 58 percent compared to 32 percent for Judge Moore that is a 26 point gender gap. Can Judge Moore win with numbers like that, Becky?

BECK GERRITSON, ORGANIZER, WOMEN FOR MOORE RALLY: Well, did Trump win with numbers that looked so bad? I don't believe the polls. It's not what I'm seeing on the ground. His base is still with him. Actually, they're fired up over this. They know this is a ploy from the left. This is all about politics. We see it and I think he is going to win this thing. No problem.

LEMON: Help us understand how it's a ploy from the left when you have six women who have come out and some of them are conservatives? Eight women, excuse me.

GERRITSON: Well, first of all, let me just be -- let me be clear that no charges have been filed, there are two women who have made allegations, there are other women who say that they dated him when they were young, but I'm just not buying this. But here's what I see, when you look at Mitch McConnell and what he did in Mississippi a couple of years ago, how he intervened big time in this primary, he spent over $30 million and Roy Moore is not the candidate that he wants. And I feel that --

LEMON: With all due respect, Becky, Mitch McConnell is a Republican. You said it was, you said it was a liberal or scheme by liberals or Mitch McConnell's a Republican.

GERRITSON: Well, I think -- you're right. And I think it's actually a ploy by the Republicans even more so by not standing with him. I'm sorry, I think this is more about Republican leadership.


LEMON: President Trump staying silent on Moore, but what do voters think about it? I want to bring in Joe Madison, the host of the Joe Madison show on Sirius XM, John Fredericks, Syndicated Talk Radio host and former co-chair of the Trump campaign in Virginia, they are radio guys. Their ears are to the ground, Joe, you first. Good evening by the way to both of you.


LEMON: The President returned from his 12 day over -- trip overseas and then he comes back to this. What do you think?

MADISON: Well, what I think is he is going to have to speak out on the Moore issue, much the same way he spoke out on the Al Franken issue. But let me simply tell you, because you always ask what our listeners and callers think. They think that, quite candidly, Donald Trump doesn't have the moral authority to say anything about Judge Moore. And your opening this evening was -- is going to be to fodder for us at least on my show Monday. I think what was it, 12, 13 women?

[23:50:29] My goodness. And, you know, you just can't say all 13 women are lying and then that clip you just played, if you notice, she never answered the question. Let me finish this way. Here is also what I think. Al Franken has said, you know what? I'm sorry. I'm guilty. The pictures speak for themselves, and I'm going to cooperate if there's a senate investigation or a hearing. Well, if Judge Moore wins, then what they've done is established a precedent so that if he gets into the senate, if it's good enough for Al Franken, it's going to be good enough for Judge -- for then Senator Moore.

LEMON: John, your turn. What do you think? JOHN FREDERICKS, HOST, SYNDICATED TALK RADIO: Well, look, Judge Moore

has denied these allegations. They certainly -- the women certainly seem credible. I've got to tell you, Joe and Don, on my show I took a neutral position all week. I played clips on both sides equally and my callers went 305 to 5 for Moore for five days. So there is definitely a sentiment out there that people think that maybe this is concocted or its 40 years too late. I tell you what my question is. I question the signature in the year book. Why Gloria Allred would be involved in this, I'm not a lawyer. I'm a layman. I look at the evidence. That seems very suspect that it could be a forgery.

Look, if you have a sexual assault, why would you be dealing with your high school year book? It has nothing to do with it. That is suspect. I question that. But the other thing is I just want to ask Joe and Don, where were the father's in this? I mean, you've got all these 16-year-old girls dating this guy, he is calling them up. I mean, are there no fathers of these daughters in Alabama? I can tell you that if -- I have a daughter. If she was 16 and a 32-year-old called them up, I'd be going ballistic.

LEMON: I can answer to you. The father said -- she said my father is very strict. My father is a preacher. She wouldn't give him the number of the he called her in trigonometry class. The other one --

FREDERICKS: Wouldn't you go back to your father and say the guy called me in trigonometry class, I mean my daughter would have said that to me --

LEMON: John, did you read the post stories?

FREDERICKS: That was only one case out of these eight young ladies --

LEMON: John, if you read the "Washington Post" stories, it answers the questions that you are asking now. I'm not going to relitigate it. I would encourage you and all of your listeners to go and read the "Washington Post" stories and everything that you just asked --

FREDERICKS: "Washington Post," Don, there is your bible of truth right there, Don. "Washington Post."

LEMON: We're not talking about the "Washington Post."

FREDERICKS: You guys are ridiculous.

LEMON: We're not talking about the "Washington Post." we're talking about the women who have made allegations, the accusers. That is what we're talking about. Go ahead.

MADISON: By the way, the Birmingham newspapers have collaborated or have --

LEMON: Corroborated.

MADISON: Corroborated. Thank you. What the "Washington Post" has done. So if you don't like the "Washington Post," you don't like the Birmingham papers, you know, they're doing the same thing. FREDERICKS: At least new house is credible. But here is my question.

LEMON: I've got to go, John.

FREDERICKS: New house is credible, but my --

LEMON: Can you answer me a question, because I really do have to go? I'm out of time. Do you want to hear from the President on this?

MADISON: Come on, say yes, John.

FREDERICKS: I think the President is taking the right position. Leave it up to the voters of Alabama.

MADISON: He hasn't taken a position.

FREDERICKS: They're not -- yes. We're not a banana republic and the voters of Alabama are not stupid. If they believe this, they'll elect Doug Jones. No problem. Have a nice day.

LEMON: It's evening. Thank you. We'll be right back.


[23:58:45] LEMON: Voting is now under way for the CNN hero of the year. Here is one of this year's top ten heroes. Meet Khali Sweeney.


KHALI SWEENEY, CNN HEROES: I see bad kids. I see a kid who hasn't been heard yet. I always wonder, where is my real family? If you spend enough time with kids, you'll find out that they're going through the same thang that I was going through. No mentors, positive role models. Ready for prison or the county morgue. Boxing teaches you to blackout all the outside noises. This is just the vehicle to get the kids in the door. It's actually an academic program. We hold our kids at the same standard with counterparts in the suburbs or anywhere around the world. The stuff that we're doing here is the stuff that should be given to everyone. When I first met Jordan, I didn't see the kid that everybody else saw.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If I hadn't found Khali, I think I would be dead or in jail.

SWEENEY: Opening up too wide.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a savior.

SWEENEY: Let's go. There you go. That is all you've got to do is just do it, Jordan.

Throughout my life looking for that family, they have become my family.

(END VIDEO CLIP) LEMON: Vote for Khali or any of your favorite top ten heroes. You

can do it now at CNN That is it for us tonight. Thanks for watching.