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Doug Jones Wins In Alabama Moore Not Conceding; Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's Feud with President Donald Trump; USA Today Editorial: President Trump Is Not Fit For Office. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired December 13, 2017 - 01:00   ET


[01:00:00] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: We've got standby we're going to get to you. A lot to talk about.

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You're not going to let April give her news.

LEMON: No. April's going to give her news, but hold on.


LEMON: Stand by, April.

NAVARRO: We've been waiting for --

RYAN: Thank you.

LEMON: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. It is the top of the hour. Just 1:00 a.m. here on the East Coast. A little past midnight and we're live with breaking news tonight. Democrat Doug Jones wins a stunning victory in the Senate election in Alabama, becoming the state's first Democratic senator, Senator-elect, in more than 20 years, and defeating Republican Roy Moore, an accused child molester who was endorsed by President Trump. But Moore has yet to concede. So, there's a lot to discuss.

They've been talking about a possible recount, but the Republican Party here has spoken -- or has spoken, I should say in Alabama. I want to get straight to Alex Marquardt, he is at the Doug Jones headquarters in Birmingham. Alex, hello, to you. Democrats pulled it off. A remarkable upset tonight in a ruby red state. Give us the latest from the Jones headquarters.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN REPORTER: Well, Don, it was a raucous night here at the headquarters. You can probably hear it in my voice. I've gone hoarse at this point. The party is dying down. There are a couple of stragglers here behind me. People don't want to stop celebrating this extraordinary win by Doug Jones. I was speaking with the Campaign Chairman Giles Perkins, just a short time ago. He had a glass of wine in hand. They are very much celebrating this incredible upset as well.

Now, Don, as you know, what normally happens in these situations is you have a victory speech, which we heard from Doug Jones, then you have a concession speech by the loser. And that is often followed by a call from the loser to the winner, congratulating him or her. As you know, that did not happen tonight. So, the Campaign Chairman, Giles Perkins, told me he is disappointed there has been no contact between the Moore and the Jones campaigns. He said the proper thing to do would have been for Roy Moore to call Doug Jones and to congratulate him.

Perkins told me: it's a clear win, I hope they wake up in the morning and concede. Now, assuming all goes to plan in the coming days and weeks, what will happen is the Alabama secretary of state will certify this election at the end of December. And then, Jones will be sworn into the Senate in all likelihood in early January when they are back in session.

LEMON: Thank you, Alex. I appreciate that. I want to get to Kaitlan Collins now. She's at Roy Moore's headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama. Kaitlan, Alex just mentioned Roy Moore has not yet made a concession call. Any word on when that might come?

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, he hasn't. And there's been no word on that yet, Don, from any of the Moore officials who have gone silent since it was first showing Doug Jones in the lead. As I reported earlier, the Moore campaign had been feeling incredibly confident earlier tonight. But that all changed within a very, very brief period of time.

And at this point, the Moore campaign is hanging on for dear life. And though the Alabama Republican Party has declared a Doug Jones victory, multiple news outlets have declared a Doug Jones victory, Doug Jones has given a victory speech, and the President Donald Trump, has congratulated him on his win, Roy Moore is refusing to concede this election. We heard from his Campaign Chairman, Bill Armistead, who was citing an Alabama law that requires a recount if the margin of victory is within half of a percentage point, even though it was showing Doug Jones up much higher than that at the time that they said that, but Moore told his supporters to go home and sleep on it. But, Don, at this point, it just seems like it's a matter of time before he concedes.

LEMON: All right. Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Why did the Evangelicals support Roy Moore in spite of the allegations against? I want to talk about that with Albert Mohler, he's a President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Thank you, Mr. Mohler, I appreciate you joining us. You know, Evangelicals backed Roy Moore in the election, but Doug Jones pulled out the win. What's your reaction to this shocking result?

ALBERT MOHLER, PRESIDENT, SOUTHERN BAPTIST SEMINARY: Well, Evangelicals in Alabama, Don -- and it's good to be with you -- faced another excruciating situation. But at the end of the day, not enough of them turned out to vote for Roy Moore. That's the big story here. End of the vacuum created by the fact that so many Evangelicals did not turn out as expected. And as the pattern would indicate, the vote for Roy Moore -- that's why he lost. That's a stunning story. It's stunning that not one major Evangelical leader or pastor in the state of Alabama stood with Roy Moore and supported Roy Moore publicly once those accusations were made, but even before the accusations were made. We're talking about the Republican Party learning a very hard lesson here about the limits of Republican Conservative Christian tolerance when it comes to candidates.

LEMON: What message do you think this election sends to both the country and as a whole, and the Evangelical community, specifically?

MOHLER: Well, elections have consequences. And one of the saddest consequences for the people of Alabama is that they will now have a senator who is avowedly pro-abortion -- that's almost incomprehensible. How could that happen? It's not just they elected a Democrat, but they elected a very pro-abortion Democrat in a state that's avowedly pro-life. That has to be explained by something. And I think it's explained only by the fact that an incredible number of Evangelical Christians said, this is just a bridge too far. We cannot turn out to vote for this candidate. They would not and could not vote for a pro-abortion candidate. They would not and could not, as it turned out, vote for Roy Moore.

[01:05:15] And into that vacuum, came Doug Jones winning the election tonight. That sends a massive signal to the national Republican Party. It sends a signal to Evangelical Christians around the nation that it's Alabama last night in terms of the election. The same kind of situation could show up anywhere. But there is, in the end, no ability to separate character and public policy or public office as this election presented the challenge to the voters of Alabama. This wasn't really even that close, and it's stunning. It's nothing less than stunning. Anyway, the election came down, I believe, the people of Alabama would lose.

LEMON: But he still got 80 percent of the Evangelical vote. I mean, that's a lot.

MOHLER: Well, he got 80 percent of what was identified as Evangelicals in exit polling. That really doesn't take into consideration the fact that he lost because so many Evangelicals didn't show up. Therefore, weren't in the exit polling. That's the big story. And given the percentage of Evangelical voters in Alabama, it's virtually inconceivable that a candidate supported by evangelicals could lose. This candidate did, which meant he did not have solid support amongst Evangelicals. That's the big story, especially in a state like Alabama.

LEMON: I want to talk to you -- this is in your podcast today. You noted that despite Moore's strong connection to the Evangelical movement, the Evangelical movement, there haven't been a ton of prominent Evangelical pastors and leaders speaking out on his behalf. Why do you think that was because it seems like speaking out against someone accused of preying on children would have been a slam dunk?

MOHLER: Well, they did not support him. I mean, that's the big story. The big story is what didn't happen. If you look at the 2016 presidential election, look at all the prominent Evangelicals who are willing to stand publicly to call for voters to vote for Donald Trump. Notice how that didn't happen in Alabama. You didn't have any major pastors. You didn't have any major evangelical leaders, not a single one willing to support Roy Moore. That was an astounding message. And by the way, here's a message: a Republican conservative candidate cannot win even in a deeply southern immeasurably red state like Alabama without the strong support of Evangelical Christians. That's a very clear message.

LEMON: Albert Mohler, thank you. I appreciate it.

MOHLER: Good to be with you, Don.

LEMON: Back now with my political dream team. And April, I'm going to get your news in, but I just want to show this because we were talking about it, and it's right. Here we go. Right here. This is the cover of the New York Daily news tomorrow, and it says: you know what you and the horse you rode in on. So, he probably is rethinking that decision. April Ryan, what do you have for us?

RYAN: So, from a high-level Republican who texted me during the show. They said, Tim Scott, J.C. Watts and the late Jack Kemp, Republicans are working to ground out the party on issues that most people can respect. They say that there is a civil war brewing inside the party, and they're saying that several meetings are being called tomorrow to prepare. So, they're trying to fix this. They're trying to figure out what's going on, how to move forward. They're trying to bring it back in because it's gone too far, to include with the president, and to push Roy Moore, this man -- yes, he wasn't an unacceptable candidate, but every ist pertains to Roy Moore.

LEMON: We heard what the secretary of state said here -- said on this air from Alabama, saying that, well, they have to check. They want to check the absentee votes. They want to check the write-in votes. They want to check the military votes, what have you. But the Alabama state GOP says, the race is over. We respect the voting process given to us by our founding fathers. They're saying it's done.

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: And so, the question is: how long until Governor Kay Ivey certifies it? She can certify it, apparently, calling the secretary of state was air on earlier. As early as December 26th, as late as January 3rd. If you're Mitch McConnell, you want as much time as you can because he's still got Luther Strange in the Senate, he still has 52 Republican senators until the new senator sworn in. But if you're the people of Alabama, they have just voted for a new senator, and they feel, I think, quite rightly entitled to have that person casting their vote on this tax bill, not somebody appointed.

SYMONE SANDERS, NATIONAL PRESS SECRETARY FOR DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BERNIE SANDERS: And I guess it also goes to the point that the civil war is brewing to the fact that the Republicans in Alabama can't even seem to get on the same page tonight. You've got the Alabama Republican Party saying one thing. You've got the Republican candidate saying one thing in Alabama. You've got other outside Republicans saying another thing.

And so, you know, there's much to be said from the Democratic side about how necessarily, we're not necessarily all on the same page. And clearly, we have to get our house in order. But we are way more organized than the folks that should clearly have -- that they should have their act together and they don't. And I think that's indicative of the issues we're going to see going forward in the next couple of months.

[01:10:06] LEMON: I want to ask you about this Kirsten, because one of the reasons the president felt that he had to support Roy Moore is probably because of his own allegations, and maybe that would have given him some sort of cover for those allegations. According to one source, Steve Bannon told President Trump if Moore lost, Democrats would field emboldened to go after the president on sexual harassment issues. What do you think?

KIRSTEN POWERS, COLUMNIST, USA TODAY: I mean, there's no way to really prove that that was the reason that Donald Trump supported him. I always thought he supported him because he just was more his kind of person. I think the things that I would describe as, you know, highly problematic, some of it very racist, homophobic, I mean, in the extreme is what Trump supporters call, you know, me being uncomfortable with him, you know, me being politically correct, right? And so, he was sort of the anti-politically correct candidate. He just was more Trump's style, upsetting the establishment. And, you know, I think with time as the accusations came against him, then I do think Trump started to become a sort of kindred spirit, that you're being persecuted the same way I was being persecuted.

LEMON: Do you think Democrats will become more emboldened?

BEGALA: I think either way they were going to move on this. They're calling for hearings -- it's a very smart strategy. Some are calling him to resign, that's fine. It's not going to make a difference. Much more important, they're calling for hearings. Because if the president is right and these 16 women are all liars, let's get them under oath. Let's clear the president's good name. OK. But maybe they're telling the truth. And so, public testimony, if these women are willing to do it -- they've already come forward -- that would be really important. It's what every congressional candidate is going to be asked. Are you for hearings? You're not a Republican congresswoman, you don't want to force the president to resign. But certainly, we should have hearings. We should find out the facts. It's going to be a big issue in 2018.

MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think we could also -- if you try to extrapolate what happened in Alabama and how might it play out in the midterms, there's a lot of interesting things to consider, like for -- one example would be that you know, Alabama elected Donald Trump after the "Access Hollywood" tapes, by the way, by like 27 points. So, it's not just decency, right?

LEMON: You know what, when you say that I think even since then, I think the culture has moved.

LEWIS: Yes, that's one of the things I was going to say. I think you're totally right. And you can also -- but I also think there's the fact that Alabama this time was on the ballot. Their reputation, specifically. Roy Moore is accused of things that are a little bit different than Donald Trump too. But I do think that can the anti- Donald Trump zeitgeist be weaponized and localized in 435 house races around the country?

LEMON: There are -- many of the president's tweets -- and people have gotten used to them, sort of, in the way they're just eye rolls. And then, now I think there are some that just make people gasp, like the one today, Ana. The president received backlash for, lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: "A total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office begging for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill and crooked-USED." Is there anyway -- is there anything appropriate about sending that to you?

NAVARRO: No. It wouldn't be an appropriate tweet from frankly anybody. But, you know, he's the president of the United States. He represents us all. He is the commander in chief. I keep thinking we've got to hold him to a higher standard.


NAVARRO: I am not willing to numb myself to these things and just let it be an eye roll and a sigh. He is the president of the United States. The world is watching. And he continues behaving in this way. Frankly, he's not going to change. It's what we've learned in the last year. A lot of people, a lot of Republicans thought that he was going to grow into the presidency. He has not changed. Look, it's very hard to change a man after he has teethed. But I -- you know, I think there's a Donald Trump connection here that goes far beyond his endorsement and help of Roy Moore.

Since the Donald Trump election in 2016, America is waking in a way that we hadn't seen before. You have seen women who suffered sexual harassment wake up, stand up, speak up. You have seen voters who didn't vote in November of 2016 say, you know what? We really regret that. Because we didn't vote, because we sat it out, we ended up with this. And they're coming out and voting. There is a political engagement in America that I think is a direct result of having ended up with a Donald Trump.

LEMON: I sat, and I watched as I was getting ready to come here -- I watched a briefing, and you were in the briefing room today.

RYAN: Yes, I was.

LEMON: And I think everyone's mouths were just kind of -- when Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, there's nothing, nothing that was inappropriate about that tweet. There was nothing

RYAN: She said, though, your mind was in the gutter.

LEMON: It wasn't a sexual reference in any way. What were you thinking? What was reporter --

RYAN: I was in shock.

LEMON: What was the reaction in that room? [01:15:11] RYAN: I was in shock because I asked her if -- since she

said it was a misunderstanding, it was about draining the swamp, and the president had used those words before for male politicians, and it was just basically a reference to draining the swamp. So, I said, since it was a misunderstanding, is Kirsten Gillibrand owed an apology for those words that some thought was a sexual innuendo. And she said something to the effect that, well, if that's what you thought, your mind was in the gutter. I'm like, I was really in shock.

LEMON: If you put begging in quotes and then, and would do anything for them in parenthesis --

RYAN: Right. It's almost like you're exchanging -- it sounded like he was saying a sexual favor for a campaign contribution. And the reason I was shocked, because we know we've heard the president on the "Access Hollywood" tape, and Billy Bush said that was him saying grab your meow-meow. And I was like -- I'm not going to say the word, but, you know -- oh, honey, I can do it. No. I was in shock --

LEMON: All right.

RYAN: -- but it's not beyond the realm of possibility for that to be what the president was saying.

SANDERS: I mean, I would agree to April. And not just that, it's because Senator Gillibrand was talking about the accusations, the credible accusations of now what 16 different women in relation to the president of the United States. And these accusations are about sexual misconduct, some of the sexual assault. For him to respond with a tweet that absolutely, basically insinuated that she was some kind of prostitute or some woman willing to do anything --

RYAN: Exactly.

SANDERS: -- anything --

RYAN: Sexual favors for.

SANDERS: OK. Sexual favors, given she wanted, that was -- that is just disgusting.

LEMON: Well, here's the thing, Ana, here's what's my experience with that. When on the air, when Donald Trump, candidate, said to me, Megyn Kelly had blood coming out of her wherever. And a lot of men were like, I am not sure they meant that. I don't know. I don't know. And every woman in my life said that's exactly what he meant. We know it. We've lived through it. Every woman has said to me today, that's exactly what he meant, and maybe, you know, you don't want to believe it. But then when you look back, I think people then wanted to think, he couldn't possibly be doing that. We would not -- we would never get to a place in this country where someone running for president of the United States would actually say that a woman has blood coming out of her wherever. And but then, now, looking back with it, I'll let you respond.

RYAN: Yes. LEMON: Go on.

RYAN: When you ask a legitimate question for something that they have said or they have tweeted, they try to make you look crazy because you're asking something logical that just fits together in the perfect puzzle. What you said, is what you said.

LEMON: Let me just say this.

NAVARRO: Girl, you're not getting invited to the Christmas party next year.

RYAN: I wasn't going to go anyway.

LEMON: Let me says this, even if you didn't mean it -- let's just give him that, I'm saying that that's a thing. If someone was offended by it, if I offend you, it doesn't matter that I wasn't offended.

NAVARRO: You apologize.

LEMON: It means you were offended. And I would explain myself and apologize, and I would certainly wouldn't lie.

RYAN: Yes. Human decency.

LEMON: We'll be back.


[01:22:16] LEMON: Our breaking news on CNN: Democrat Doug Jones has won the special Senate race in Alabama. Jones making an emotional victory speech tonight and quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. -- words we also heard from President Obama. It was back in 2008. Listen.


DOUG JONES, DEMOCRATIC SENATE-ELECT: As Dr. King liked to quote, "The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.


JONES: Tonight, tonight, ladies and gentlemen. Tonight, tonight in this time, in this place, you helped bend that moral arc a little closer to that justice, and you did it.

BARACK OBAMA, 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Dr. King once said that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. It bends towards justice. But here's the thing, it does not bend on its own, it bends because each of us in our own ways put our hand on that arc, and we bend it in the direction of justice.


LEMON: Back now with my political dream team. Symone Sanders, why do you think Doug Jones chose those words specifically? SANDERS: Well, I think Paul alluded to it earlier in that -- it came

full circle that the man who prosecuted the KKK replaced someone who was -- beat someone who was a segregationist, a self-proclaimed segregationist. Now, I also know that non-melanated people like to quote Dr. King a whole lot, and he's not the only person that we can quote. But I think those words were absolutely accurate in this moment.

LEMON: Non-melanated?


LEMON: We've gone meow-yow, non-myelinated people. Ana's thinking --


RYAN: The late-night crew.

LEMON: So, yes, why do you think -- why do you think? Do you think that was obviously on purpose, correct?

RYAN: That was obviously what?

LEMON: On purpose.

RYAN: Sure.

LEMON: Yeah.

RYAN: Everything is scripted and strategic and on purpose.

NAVARRO: But it's also significant. Listen, let me tell you who found justice.


RYAN: It's the truth.

NAVARRO: All those women who spoke up. The women who've been speaking up across America, and particularly those women who spoke up in Alabama who knew that they were going to get shamed, who knew they were going to get attacked, who knew they were going to have their lives scrutinized and still did it and persisted. Today they got justice. You know who else got justice? I don't know if any of you saw it. The video of Nathan Mathis, the father of the lesbian woman who took her own life. And he went yesterday to protest against Roy Moore for being so homophobic, and for being so offensive to his case. It was justice for his daughter and for him. So, yes, these words were significant and appropriate.

LEMON: Let's listen to it. Let's listen to it.


[01:25:06] NATHAN MATHIS, FATHER OF A LESBIAN WOMAN: I was anti-gay myself. I said bad things to my daughter myself, which I regretted. But I can't take back what happened to my daughter. But stuff like saying my daughter's a pervert, sure, I'm sure that bothered her. Now, you know, Judge Moore, not just said my daughter, he didn't call my daughter by name. He said all gay people are perverts, abominations. That's not true. We don't need a person like that representing us in Washington.


LEMON: I found that to be a very stunning moment, right, Ana? I wondered you know, having -- how do I put this? Obviously, being Black and hearing the rhetoric from the '60s, being gay, hearing the rhetoric now, people using religion, the church, the Bible, scriptures to discriminate against anyone that they want to discriminate against, whether it be a woman, whether it'd be a Jewish person, whether it'd be a Muslim, whether it'd be a gay person, whether it's a black person. They can take bible verses and try to twist them into something --

RYAN: Manipulate it.

LEMON: To manipulate it to go against something, and it's so hypocritical.

NAVARRO: Well --

LEMON: Is Alabama coming around to finally, you think, to that? Because if you look at the people who they've elected -- the state of George Wallace, and I live there and I know him, nothing against Alabamians. It's the truth. Are they finally coming around when it comes to certain --

POWERS: I mean, I don't know if we can go that far to say that they're finally coming around. I mean, a lot of people still voted for Roy Moore, right? So, there are still people, I think, unfortunately, who hold these beliefs. And look, it's a twisted interpretation of the bible. I mean, I'd love to go toe to toe with any of these people on the scripture that they're using because there's nothing biblical that backs up the things they're saying. But this video of this man was just so touching because it's so hard to stand up and say that you did something wrong, especially when the consequence of that -- you know, I don't know how much it played into it, but she committed suicide.

And to stand up in Alabama, where people aren't very open necessarily to gay people, and say, I made a mistake, and it's wrong, and to call out Roy Moore. So, yes, I do think that there's justice, and I think that people have latched onto that quote for a lot of different reasons. But also, I think for people have felt after the Trump election, there's this sense of things are out of control, and that it's not going to end well. And there's this --

JOSHUA GREEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, you can. Can I make one quick point? If you look at the coalition that elected Doug Jones tonight, absolutely African-Americans were important, but he won young people, millennials, overwhelmingly.

LEMON: Right.

GREEN: There's a rising generation of people, I think even in Alabama, who just don't put up with attitudes like the one that Roy Moore espouses when it comes --

RYAN: It was the Obama --


RYAN: But we have to remember the history of Alabama. We have to remember the painful history. I'm talking about race point right now. Think about this. We had the Tuskegee Syphilis study in Alabama. We had the Montgomery bus boycott in Alabama. We had Rosa Parks in Alabama. We had Selma, Bloody Sunday, in Alabama. The bombing of the church with the four little girls in Alabama. Think of that, and think of the mindset and how the arc has changed. This was a big moment. This was a pivotal moment.

LEMON: To my point -- and I would like you to respond to this. Sometimes people just don't know what they don't know. When they say ignorance is bliss. Well, it's not bliss. It's terrible. This -- I think this speaks to people who watch news outlets, only the ones that reaffirm their beliefs; read newspapers, only the ones that reaffirm their beliefs; radio shows, only the ones listen to the past around Sunday, only the ones the guy that Jake had on today. Well, you can't be a Muslim because you've got to put your hand on the bible and -- it's not true. And he doesn't know that. You don't know what you don't know. So, then, Ed, what do you say to that -- especially last night, with Mrs. Moore saying, well, one of my, you know, one of our attorneys is a Jew. She didn't even understand what a blunder that was.

ED MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Right. Well, when I watched that father talk there, I thought the power of that, to me, captures what the election was about, right? Elections are choices, and what this gentleman said was, as to my family, I made a mistake, and I see that in Roy Moore, and I don't want you to make mistake. And I think that's the best to politics, is that choice. I don't say this before, I get in some trouble. I don't look to my politicians, thank goodness, right now, to be my pastor. I don't look for them to be the people that --

LEMON: But they're learning it from the church and from their pastor. They're learning it from their pastors. Yes, they are.

[01:29:59] MARTIN: There's plenty of people that are unpleasant and nasty that is whatever -- you know, on any issue. There are people that are, you know, unpleasant to conservatives, liberals, whatever. So, I reject that if they're learning it. But I would say elections are about policies and people. And Roy Moore lost, and some of his policies lost --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elections are personal.

MARTIN: But to your point -- but to point -- to put back to this, it was not you all celebrating a (INAUDIBLE) here. I enjoyed, have a great night. But the Republican Party that Donald Trump won on won a lot of elections last year and is governing in a lot of state houses and a lot of governor's office. I understand for now, but they're doing a lot of policies that people are looking up and relating to. And elections -- and elections -- by the way, I want to point something else u, Paul can tell us an expert, every president in office, their midterm is a brutal time.

LEMON: We're going to tell -- we're going to tell you about that after the break. But I do find and I'm just being honest here, sometimes the most hateful ideologies, the most hateful people in thinking comes from the church, especially if it has to do with gay people.


MARTIN: If you know what --

LEMON: It has to do with --


LEMON: Listen, and you're saying this had nothing to do with the church and whatever. She said I fellowship with them, what does that mean? And say, I fellowship, that means we worship in church together.

MARTIN: With whom?

LEMON: I fellowship -- she said I fellowship with my Jewish attorney or whatever --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My attorney is a jew. Yes.

LEMON: My attorney is a jew. Yes.


MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But you know what, this is also a way that Wilberforce an evangelical Christian who led as -- in a British Parliament led the fight against slavery in Great Britain.


LEWIS: It was Dr. -- Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who used the church and I would say that the moral authority of Scripture to attack racism. And so, I think that when Christianity and religion is used for hate and --

LEMON: And perversion at best.

LEWIS: -- in co-opting of something --

LEMON: But when it's at its best, it can be helpful but co-opting is not -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What about love thy neighbor as self, no matter who?

LEMON: We'll be right back. We'll be right back. I got to go.


[01:35:15] LEMON: Doug Jones becoming the first Democrat in a generation to win a Senate seat in Alabama. His victory will narrow the Republican majority to just 51-49. CNN's Tom Foreman has more on the balance of power in the Senate. Tom?

TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Don, take a look at these numbers. They are the ones that really matter. The Republicans came in tonight, controlling 52 seats in the Senate; Democrats and their allies, 48, and this will be the new numbers 51 to 49. This is a genuine big changer. And why Donald Trump so much wanted Roy Moore to win, and how he must be so distressed to have Doug Jones win instead because that loss of a single vote could make a big difference with the ability to pass any kind of legislation for border control, budgets, entitlements, even if you look at the big tax reform package right now. Because if Doug Jones is seated before the final vote occurs here, a single defection on the Republican side could burn this thing to the ground. So, what are the odds of that happening? Well, we have to look at the calendar.

Before Jones could take the oath, the Secretary of State in Alabama has to certify the vote, in all likelihood, that's going to happen somewhere around the 27th, 28th, 29th of this month. Meaning, an actual swearing-in probably doesn't happen until January next year. The Republicans are trying to pass a big tax plan by the 22nd. That's when they would like to have the whole thing finished. Yes, schedules can slide, it's possible the two can collide, but Democrats can do nothing to speed up this process. So, it's unlikely Doug Jones will have a say as Republicans try to nail down at least one big legislative win before they have this change in the numbers that could change everything, Don.

LEMON: All right. Tom, thank you very much. I appreciate it. Back now with my panel, Mr. Begala, you heard him break down a moment ago, do you think that this changes, anything for momentum at least with Democrats taking --

BEGALA: What it does, I think Tom is just exactly right. I think the Republicans are going to try to jam this tax cut through. I tell you, there was nobody at the Trump rally, nobody in Roy Moore rally hold up a sign saying cut taxes for Goldman Sachs. And that's -- it is a massive corporate tax cuts for Apple and Exxon and all the big corporations. And it's folks who in Alabama who are going to be -- many of them saying more taxes. In other words, politically, the Republicans think if they pass the tax bill, it will help them. But an unpopular tax bill passed by an unpopular Congress signed by an unpopular President is not the way to become popular. It's going to tee them up for a wave, a blue wave in 2018. I mean, we've seen this, right? When Democrats rammed through Obamacare, we had a terrible midterm. The Obamacare much more popular than the -- NAVARRO: There's huge desperation within the Republican Party to deliver something to show, something for having the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. I think that what it does is it gives the Senate version of the tax bill a lot more leverage. I think the Senate -- you know, there's significant differences between the House bill and the -- and the Senate bill. I don't like them either. I don't like either of them. But I think it -- I think the Senate can now say -- Mitch McConnell can now say to Paul Ryan, listen, Paul, you want to get something passed and Paul Ryan does, you better go ahead and, you know, make sure that we get the Senate version through that it's what I can pass right now, and I'm not going to be able to do it come January.

SANDERS: But the tax bill is still fundamentally unpopular, even the Senate version. And so, the narrative then becomes for the 2018 midterms times when Republicans, when they were in control of everything, the House, the Senate, the White House, when they had the chance to do something, the one thing they got done were tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and something that hurt the middle-class. Those are the kind of ads people are going to run. That is going to be the narrative.

LEWIS: But we'll see what the economy does. You know, Reagan passes his tax cuts during, you know, there's a recession and the economy comes back. It's morning again in America. You know, Donald Trump is betting on the fact that this is going to have a stimulus effect, that it's a supply-side stimulus that it's going to create growth and more jobs by the time from --

SANDERS: But the business told us they weren't. But like the business -- the business folks have been on panel after panel, have been in form after form saying we're not planning to reinvest these dollars to the people.


LEWIS: That's going to be the question. That's going to be the question.

JOSHUA GREEN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: There's a guy in the panel who works for -- there's a guy in the panel who works for business week and I just need a quick economic point. The stock market is booming. The economy is strong. And Trump is historically unpopular president. There's no reason that Goldman Sachs came out with a note yesterday that said even though they're cutting corporate tax rates, 15 percent, the actual effect of that tax rate is going to be three percent. It's going to be almost nothing. There's no reason to think that there's suddenly going to be some up spurt of growth. It is going to accrued to Trump's benefit, especially not as a result of this tax bill.

[01:39:57] LEWIS: Well, and the proof in the pudding, I mean, if -- OK. If conservatives (INAUDIBLE) are right, and cutting the corporate tax rate down to 20 percent makes us more competitive, if that causes people to start new factories, invest, then the economy is going to be booming and Donald Trump will be re-elected.


LEWIS: If it doesn't --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We do not have to start (INAUDIBLE) economic --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't draw that line automatically.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To Josh's point, the stock market is booming, the jobless is a 17-year low, and he just lost an election in Alabama. He passed this thing (INAUDIBLE) elections in Utah.

LEWIS: Yes. But that's different than running for re-election. I think that -- look, Donald Trump doesn't have a --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It could be primaries.

LEWIS: Donald Trump doesn't have coattails and his popularity is not transferable, just like Barack Obama didn't have coattails in it. But if Donald -- if the economy is doing well, I think you bet on the incumbent.

LEMON: I don't think people believe that. Listen, we're not in a recession. The economy is doing well right now, and people are concerned and wondering, why are you passing tax cuts when the economy is already doing well? And I think, you know, Donald Trump and his administration uses that line well, the mess of the former president. I often wonder if Donald Trump had inherited the actual mess from the actual recession of the Bush years, what they would be saying. Because jobs just don't happen overnight. You have, you know, consumer confidence. It's high. People are, you know -- the job market is good, but it was also good under Obama. He is riding the momentum of Pres. Obama, and I think people realize that. I don't people are stupid.

LEWIS: No, look, I think that every president probably gets too much blame if the economy is bad, too much --

LEMON: Exactly.

LEWIS: -- is good. And it's -- you know, we stand on the shoulders of giants, right? I mean, the economies take a long time to turn. That's why Donald Trump actually needs to do if you buy in the, you know, supply-side economics, you need to do the tax cuts now, so that the stimulus kicks in in time for his re-election.

LEMON: Or you do the tax cuts now and you screw the economy up, and then you don't get re-elected.

LEWIS: If that happens then he'll pay the price.

LEMON: (INAUDIBLE) don't go anywhere. We'll be right back.


LEMON: All right. And we're back now with the political dream team. We were talking about the economy, the tax cuts, and the momentum of the Senate. And Ed, you want to --

[01:45:03] MARTIN: Well, no, I just was -- we were talking about the -- I think they are going to try to jam the tax cuts through now. They've got the reason that they needed, but also I wonder if -- and a lot of people think, I do, that Justice Kennedy might retire, you know, that we may have a Supreme Court Judge next year. Certainly, they just passed a bunch of judges at the committee. The Senate has things they want to do, and we'll see if they jammed them through in the next 10 days while McConnell -- and McConnell likes that. But back to the point, we're saying, I don't know if Trump has coattails, right? I know when Trump came out to St. Charles, Missouri 10 days ago to sell the tax-cut, his speech was well received by his base, talking about competitiveness in China and all that. But when you look at that tax bill on the inside of it, I don't know if Trump's on -- not on the ballot, not selling it if Republicans are going to pay a big price in '18 if you will.

BEGALA: I think his defeat makes it much easier for -- not easier, imperative for Republicans on the Hill to distance themselves from President Trump. Today, before the election, Senator Chuck Grassley, the Republican Chairman of the Judiciary Committee broke with the President on two of his judicial nominees. Now, I think that's right. That's the thing Republicans probably -- certainly, their base order wants the most, is a more conservative federal judiciary. But here's Chuck Grassley, just two judges but getting to crack. After this election, they're going to run from him like the devil runs from holy water, and they do not want to be branded with team Trump.

LEMON: Do you agree with that?


LEMON: Why not?

MARTIN: Man, I just think Paul -- well, Paul is Democrat suffice what Paul wants to believe, but I think that people -- if you go back to Missouri --

LEMON: Well, you're saying you don't know if he has coattails. I mean, Virginia and Alabama would show -- would say maybe not. No coattails.

MARTIN: Well, he wasn't on the ballot. Coattails, I mean, I think that my argument -- my argument is that -- and also, I would say Trump needs to get back to his basics, his base are trade and immigration. I know he did. First, he camping for Luther Strange, who was a choice of established.

BEGALA: He lost.

MARTIN: Right. Exactly. And his -- and I at the time said it was a terrible idea. He should have gone with Mo Brooks. Most of us that were grassroots folks said Mo Brooks was the best --

LEMON: But still you're making a point. MARTIN: Well, no, what I'm saying is that if we -- if Republicans want to run on tax cuts, they better message it right because the grassroots doesn't care. What the grassroots cares about as you said at rallies is build the wall, get the -- get the NAFTA deal torn up, get CAFTA torn up and go on those issues.

LEMON: That -- can we -- let's talk about the momentum of the Senate, OK? And Kirsten, this is for you, Cory Gardner who's the Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, he weighed in after the Jones election, he said this -- he said, "Tonight's result are clear -- the people of Alabama deemed Roy more unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate. I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican majority."

KIRSTEN POWERS, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, I mean, that's ridiculous.

LEMON: Is that a joke tweet?

POWERS: I guess. I don't -- that's not -- I mean, he's a Democrat, he was elected, you know, as a Democrat, he's going to be a Democrat. And then the -- most of the people who elected him were Democrats. So, that's wishful thinking.

LEMON: Do you think he'll moderate though himself and ever maybe vote with some Republicans in --

POWERS: I mean, I don't know. It depends if the Republicans come up with something that's -- you know, that I think is appealing to Democrats. I don't think Democrats are just opposed, you know, in principle and not voting for Republicans. It's just that what they've been coming up with, I don't think are -- any programs the Democrats will feel comfortable getting on board with. But I think if they wanted to actually work with Democrats and moderate in some way and find some middle ground, then, yes, certainly.

NAVARRO: And then I give -- I give Cory Gardner a lot of credit in this, he did not bend his spine, he did not cow to bullying, he did not cow to threats, you know, from, you know, parts of the Republican Party. He stood by his conviction, he is the Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. And when others changed their mind three weeks into these accusations, and by others, I mean, the RNC and President Trump, nothing changed in the three weeks since the first accusations came out and when they changed their support. Cory Gardner stood firm, Mitch McConnell stood firm. And, you know, I think you've got to recognize that they stood by the power of their principles.

MARTIN: Cory Gardner is the guy, the captain of the team that just lost a seat that should have been won. So, if guy is needed to be blamed, he is front and center.


LEMON: When we come back, a scathing editorial from U.S. Today, attacking President Trump.


[01:53:01] LEMON: All right. I'm back now with my political dream team. I want to read -- this is from U.S. Today putting out a scathing editorial against the President. I'm just going to read part of it. It says, "With his latest tweet clearly implying that a United States senator would trade sexual favors for campaign cash. President Trump has shown he is not fit for office. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday, dismissed the President's smear as a misunderstanding because he used similar language about men. Of course, words used about men and women are different. A president who would all but call Senator Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush. Ed?

NAVARRO: They said that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, I'm not the only one that has a gutter mind, like --

NAVARRO: No. Apparently, the rest of America. Look, this was just actually ridiculous. It was disgusting. And it is -- it should be appalling, shocking, and just sad disappointing to all of us. The USA Today had to come out and even write this because we are at a point in our politics where the people -- where people --

LEMON: USA Today is not known for putting out editorials like this.

MARTIN: Let me help the blood pressure where you get fired up.


NAVARRO: Well, hold on, Ed. Hold on, Ed. I want to caution you before telling us like everybody get their blood pressure up, I have women on this panel that we shouldn't be upset about this because I just want to --

MARTIN: I'm not talking about that. Let me finish my sentence.

NAVARRO: I just want to talk on what you're about to say.

MARTIN: Let me finish my sentence. Honestly, really, people are --

NAVARRO: Stop. Just move on. Move on. Don't do that to her. That's condescending.

MARTIN: Listen, I mean, I was on to you. When you step into the ring with the big puncher like Gillibrand did, you're going to get punched.

NAVARRO: Oh, wait a minute, hold on, hold on --


MARTIN: See, I told you that's how it goes. That's how it goes.

NAVARRO: -- Donald Trump. That is some B.S. and you absolutely know it.


NAVARRO: That part was -- no, Donald Trump is the President -- Donald Trump is the President who had --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Listen, Gillibrand, Cory Booker, and a bunch of others have called for his resignation.


MARTIN: You're just yelling. No, you're yelling. I'm making a -- I'm making a fact sure point.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why are you going after a woman.

[01:55:01] LEMON: OK.


NAVARRO: (INAUDIBLE) tells me what I can say on this panel.

MARTIN: Here's what I'm saying. Can I -- may I say something to you? Here's some --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- a sexist. Stop being condescending and be a gentleman.

MARTIN: As Papadopoulos said it as Papadopoulos said earlier -- as --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Stop being condescending and be a gentleman. Be a gentleman.

MARTIN: Hey, Don, is it -- are we here to discuss?

LEMON: Go ahead. Go ahead.

MARTIN: As Papadopoulos said earlier, here's --


MARTIN: -- made a mistake by calling for resignation of the President. It was an overreach.

BEGALA: I didn't say that. I didn't say that. I said there are more important issue -- hearings. And by the way --

MARTIN: And when she did that, she stepped into the ring --

LEMON: Quickly. Make your point.

MARTIN: -- with the President, and the President did what he's done for years now, fight back.


LEMON: Go ahead, Paul. Go ahead, Paul. Go ahead, Paul.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- rude to her. (INAUDIBLE) to her.

LEMON: Go ahead, Paul.

NAVARRO: I don't need no apologies.

BEGALA: To continue Ed's metaphor of punching, the President always punches below the belt. He's a dirty fighter, he's a dirty man, he's a lowlife who doesn't belong in the White House. And America's newspaper, USA Today, not the liberal northeastern west coast --

LEWIS: One of the lessons (INAUDIBLE) one of the lessons from what happened in Alabama is, you know, the high road was taken by Doug Jones, and he, I think, exuded -- I may disagree with him on some of the issues but decency. And this is a choice the Democrats are going to have to make. We even saw Kirsten Gillibrand used profanity in some cases. The Democrats have a choice --

LEMON: We got to go.

LEWIS: -- it could either be like Donald Trump or the opposite of Trump.

LEMON: Let me just clear it up here, what the President did, there's no excuse for it. It was disgusting and he shouldn't do it (INAUDIBLE) politics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: 51 percent of women voted for him.

LEMON: That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right here tomorrow. Our live coverage continues right after this with John Vause and Isha Sesay in Los Angeles. Good night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was going to say, who's up now?