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CNN TONIGHT

Trump Returns To White House In Wake Of Mueller Bombshell And Questions About Possible Obstruction Of Justice; Details Of White House Immigration Reform Plan. Aired 11-12mn ET

Aired January 26, 2018 - 23:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:01:11] DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This in CNN tonight. I'm Don Lemon. A little past 11:00 here on the east coast. We are live with new developments. President Trump back in the White House tonight. A White House in turmoil. The Russian investigation getting closer to the President. The bombshell revelation that the special counsel was nearly fired. The President's own White House counsel threatening to quit if that happened.

The parallels to another earlier Presidential scandal are unavoidable. But just how close are we getting to a Watergate here? And how much of investigators most crucial evidence is coming from inside the White House? The calls coming from inside the White House. I want to bring in two people who have firsthand knowledge of this. Elizabeth Holstman was a member of the house judiciary during Watergate and CNN contributor John Dean was Nixon White House counsel. So glad to have both of you on. John, I'm going to start with you. Explain why you think there are echoes of Watergate in this Russia investigation.

JOHN DEAN, FORMER NIXON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Well, they both start with a penetration, if you will, or attempt the penetration in one case of the DNC, the Democratic National Committee. And they roll out from there. Of course Gordon Liddy and a team of burglars broke into the Watergate complex where the Democratic National Committee was located and tried to bug or fix a bug and take some photographs. The Russians electronically penetrated the Democratic National Committee and spread the fruits of their entry all over the world in emails and what have you. That is where the parallel starts. And it goes on and on with a cover-up that we still don't have the end of the story with regard to Mr. Trump.

LEMON: Um-hum. Elizabeth Holtzman was here last night so I know his thoughts on the reporting of this story. I want to hear yours about wanting to fire Mueller in June. Tell me yours.

ELIZABETH HOLTZMAN, WATERGATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE MEMBER: Well, I mean, the parallels to Watergate are scary. I mean, Watergate involved, yes, interference with an election, the electoral process by the President -- by the President's team. And here we are still trying to find out what the connection was with the Russians. We know the Russians interfered. But we are still trying to find out what the connections were with the Trump campaign. But there is no question that in Watergate what happened was that the President of the United States just when the -- from the get-go orchestrated an effort to cover-up the break in and to make sure that nobody found out that his people were involved. It involved the firing of the special prosecutor Archibald Cox. That is what triggered the impeachment and the down fall of Richard Nixon.

And we have had one firing of FBI head. And we've had another attempted firing of Mueller. Another -- the special counsel. So we are getting into Watergate territory in the sense that the President thinks he is above the law, that he can pick who is going to investigate him, that he can stop an investigation, that he can thwart an investigation, obstruct an investigation. That is not an America that we know and that we tolerate.

LEMON: You're you were a member of the house judiciary committee during Watergate.

HOLTZMAN: Yes.

LEMON: So you would know of the parallels and you spoke of them.

HOLTZMAN: Yes.

LEMON: For the people in Washington -- this seems so political now when you look at the -- go on.

HOLTZMAN: That is the sad thing. It's very political. I mean it didn't start out being political.

LEMON: Was the environment the same way during -- were people as polarized then.

HOLTZMAN: No. Because what happened was you had the senate -- first of all what happened was you had a federal Judge who smelled a rat. The Watergate burglars were caught and they are all pleading guilty he said there was something wrong.

[23:05:05] He said I'm imposing a step sentence, because there is something going on here. And one of the Watergate burglars said I'm not spending 25 years in prison for this. There were hire ups involved. That ultimately led to the senate having a select committee that look at Watergate. It was -- you know at the beginning, a little partisan. Led by a Democrat. But you had a strong partisan Republican and in the end they worked together to fine the truth.

LEMON: So what's happening now then, Liz?

HOLTZMAN: The house judiciary committee- let me finish.

LEMON: Absolutely.

HOLTZMAN: The house judiciary committee then started its impeachment proceeding not because some special prosecutor told us or not because the Republicans wanted it or the Democrats wanted it but because the American people after the Saturday night massacre, after Archibald Cox was fired said we are not a banana republic and the house judiciary committee, congress you have to do something. It didn't start out on a partisan basis. And the people who led the house judiciary committee understood that there was never going to be an impeachment unless it was bipartisan.

LEMON: What is infected in our politics now?

HOLTZMAN: People don't put the country over their own personal interests. That is the difference.

LEMON: Simple as that.

HOLTZMAN: Simple as that.

LEMON: John I want to ask you because this "Washington Post" article by Woodward and Bernstein is from June of 1973, this is how it reads, former Presidential counsel John W. Dean III has told Senators and federal prosecutors that he disclosed aspects of the Watergate cover- up with President Nixon or in Mr. Nixon's presence on at least 35 occasions between January and April of this year according to reliable sources. Look at this there were reliable sources back then and people trusted them. You continued to work at the White House while you were cooperating. What was that like?

DEAN: Well, I was very open with my colleagues when I broke rank and told them I was going to hire a lawyer. I had actually suggested within 48 hours of the break-in at Watergate that we hire an experienced criminal lawyer. And my -- one of my superiors John Erlgman waved it away. Saying no, no we don't need that at all. That was one of the early mistakes we made. When I did hire a lawyer is when they were asking me to lie, to issue a false and bogus report based on a statement the President had made that nobody presently employed in his administration had anything to do with the Watergate break-in. Well that is true that he weren't involved with break-in per se. But there was a lot they were involved in and I wasn't about to write that report.

As they pushed it came to shove at one point. I actually told the President there was a cancer on his presidency in essence there was of an existential threat of his survival in office, and he had answers in an hour and 50 minute conversation for every problem I raised. It was rather disappointing. I left him with the bottom line to make it difficult to deal with me that I thought I was going to jail for what I had done. And he says, no, no, no, John you're the law here. The lawyer doesn't go to jail. So we have some parallels in lack of understanding and appreciation of the crime of obstruction of justice in this two Presidents too.

LEMON: We have learn John that 20 White House staffers including eight from the White House counsel, the White House counsel's office have sat for voluntary interviews with investigators. What do you think is must be like that everyone knows who has talked to the special counsel and when?

DEAN: Well, they don't know what one is saying necessarily about the other. So they're going in and hopefully that provokes them to tell the truth. LEMON: Can they talk to each other afterwards about what they said?

DEAN: They can. There is no prohibition against that. They may be asked if they've done that with makes it look a little bit more conspiratorial. But there is no prohibition per se. And if they're telling the truth there is nothing wrong with that. In fact the White House lawyers may be debriefing them after they come back for all we know. That is not unusual. But it does creates a lot of tension in a White House when it's under investigation, as Nixon's was, partially the Clinton White House was. I talked to people who were there. And I'm sure it's happening right now with the Trump White House.

LEMON: Elizabeth in Davos today the President called the reports of in that he wanted to fire Mueller he said it was fake news. What do you think the President doesn't -- does he not understand what is happening here?

HOLTZMAN: Well, I think the President thinks that if he just lies enough people will believe him and he can just get away with it. To me it's astonishing. Because a lot of people know about the story. I mean it was not only reported by the "Times." It confirmed separately by the "Washington Post" and other news media. We know this happened. Maybe all the details aren't exactly right.

[23:10:13] But that is going to be a big problem that he -- the country is going to have to take. Because we have a President who doesn't know how to tell the truth or can't distinguish between the truth and a lie. How can he appear before the special prosecutor, the special counsel? How will his lawyers allow him to go there? If he don't go what kind of constitutional crisis are we confronting? I think that is very serious. Basically what we see in the effort to fire, the firing of Comey, the effort to fire Mueller is a President who wants to put himself above the law. He has no respect for institutions of justice. Well, we can't function as a country as an America, as a democracy if a President controls our prosecutorial systems, institutions of justice. So it's going to be a clash between a Democratic system and Donald Trump.

LEMON: I think we're he had headed towards a constitutional crisis.

HOLTZMAN: I do too.

LEMON: I really do. It's going to be interesting to watch the next few months and the next couple of years. I want -- I'll start with you and John I'm asking you the same question you have a little bit longer time to think about it. Do you think this Russia investigation, the resolution? Will it be political or legal or both?

HOLTZMAN: Well, what Mueller is doing is legal. I have -- I think he has acted in a methodical, professional, careful way. But there are constraints on him. How do we hold the President criminally accountable? That is one question. How do we hold the President politically accountable through impeachment or otherwise? Those are issues that go beyond what a prosecutor can do. And I don't know. Ultimately it's up to the American people.

LEMON: Right.

HOLTZMAN: The American people demanded that impeachment take place in 1973.

LEMON: Yes.

HOLTZMAN: That is why congress acted. If the American people want to preserve our democracy as we have known it then they're going to have to demand that congress act.

LEMON: John Dean.

DEAN: Liz mentioned something that is very important, is the timing. Watergate spanned a much longer period of time. News cycles were a little slower, had a little more time to absorb it than they do today. But the American people were ready for Nixon to leave when he left. The American people I don't think are there at this point with Trump. I think it will be both a legal resolution and a political resolution. You had Phil Lokavar at a on earlier. And Phil is one of those who during Watergate believed the President could and should be the prosecuted. That is however not the policy of the Department of Justice. They believe that they cannot prosecute a sitting President. That leaves only impeachment as a remedy.

And the Republicans right now probably wouldn't impeach Trump if he shot somebody on Fifth Avenue, to use a familiar analogy. That is how partisan they are at this point. But that can change and I think will change with the 2018 election. The house will turn over. The Democrats will take control and start the education process so the people are ready to deal with in very serious issue we have with this President.

LEMON: We shall see. Constitutional crisis. We'll see. Thank you both. Have a good weekend. When we come back why the President famous for the tag line you're fired seems to hate hearing the words "I quit." how members of the administration may be managing their boss with threats to resign.

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[23:17:51] LEMON: The bombshell that President Trump tried to fire Robert Mueller and only backed off when his White House counsel threatened to quit teaches us an important lesson. The man known for the sendoff "you're fired" really doesn't like to hear the words. "I quit." Here to discuss CNN Political Analyst April Ryan and CNN contributor Michael D'Antonio the author of the Trump biography, the truth about Trump. So, good evening, April you must have either the best sources in the White House or a crystal ball because I want to play this. This is from June of 2017.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALIST: One of my sources reached out to me just before we went on air and they said there is mass hysteria in the west wing about this. We don't know if it's going to happen or it won't happen, but what we do know if indeed the President does fire Mueller it shows that he is impeding the process yet again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So the President tried to write the story off. Called it fake news but today the White House didn't deny that this ever occurred. That speaks volumes. Also Chris Ruddy is saying you see I toy you I was right. Because he got pushback from the White House when he said the same thing around the same time that you said it.

RYAN: Around the same time but I think I was first. Just joking. But let me.

LEMON: But it speaks volumes.

RYAN: Over the years it does speak volumes. Over the years I've amassed some great sources. I mean when you are in Washington for a while people get to know who you are. And it's about building trust not burning bridges. I've built a lot of trust with people on all sides of the spectrum in Washington. And people who are inside and close to this White House as well.

And they continue to tell me there has been manic behavior inside away from the cameras from day one. And that was a period of time when in President was really trying to make this happen. And then when this piece stopped when he said ok I'm not going to do this. But what he wanted to do also -- there were several options in the air. And I heard people talking about it tonight and it's very real.

[23:40:01] At a time they were looking at possibly doing musical chairs almost at justice to try to get him out. To figure out a way to get him out to make it look like his fingerprints weren't on it. This is an issue. The President is not happy at all with the investigation. And it's getting closer and closer and closer to the inner circle. And he is not happy. And it's really rubbing him the wrong way.

LEMON: Michael, we learned yesterday that the threat of two simple words may have saved our country from a constitutional crisis. And those words are "I quit." Why do you think those two words carry so much weight with this President?

MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I was thinking that the rule is when you're dealing with a big bully and you're a little guy you have to step up to him and punch him in the nose first. I think that is what people are doing. The ones who get his attention are the ones who say very boldly, I'm going to quit. And then the President retreats a little bit. And thinks about the risk that he is taking. And it's quite different from when he says to someone else, I'm going to fire you, or you're not making me happy. We're going to make a change. And you look with someone like Sebastian Gorka, or others whom he has let go, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus. Steve Bannon these are people who let him fire them. In other cases we have the FBI Director Wray. And we have now the White House counsel. These -- and I think it happened with Rex Tillerson as well. And maybe Gary Cohn. These people who are valued by the President are saying you do that and I'm going to quit, or something doesn't change I'll quit. So we are seeing over the months that April's terrific reporting -- and she doesn't need a crystal ball.

RYAN: Thank you.

D'ANTONIO: Was right. This was a President who was scheming to undermine the special counsel. He is -- he has been scheming to criticize and diminish everyone involved in investigating him. His lawyers have aided that. But yet the ones who stand up to him firmly seem to be the ones who prevail.

LEMON: April, listen let's talk about that a little bit more. Name a few people. Don McGahn is not the first member of the administration threatening to quit in order to get President's attention. His chief of staff John Kelly threatened to quit when others in the White House wouldn't listen to him. The FBI Director Christopher Wray was threatened to quit when he was pressured to fire his deputy Andrew McCabe and even Jeff Sessions offered to quit after his relationship with the President soured after he recused himself from the DOJ Russia investigation. Is threatening to quit is that going to be the only way to get the President to take something or someone seriously?

RYAN: Well, let me say this. It has to be someone with some importance, someone who is actually helping the ship, helping to right the ship. Not just someone just a consequence. This President right now at this moment in time he doesn't want anyone to quit, anyone of senior authority who is out there in the public, because it looks bad for him. And he has made that clear. For instance, right now, General Kelly -- he and General Kelly are not getting along well. He is trying to ride it out. We never know what's going on. There are a lot of things we are hearing. It doesn't bode well tight now, if someone of a major stature were to resign.

Earlier when Jeff Sessions tried to resign the chief of staff was Reince Priebus. And Reince Priebus excuse me got that information. Reince was like what am I going to do with this? Because Reince didn't have a good rapport with the President time as well. That was early on when things were a little bit crazy. But now this President does not want to see more people leave. He doesn't want any more bloodletting because it looks bad. And he presents the piece that oh we're great this is running well my team is great. But there is a problem within the team, the cogs are not coming together like they should always.

LEMON: Yes. And so -- he wants to show his power which he did, Michael, with the impromptu press conference right outside of John Kelly's door, outside his office. The guy's whose primary job it appears keeping Trump under control has been in the dog house ever since he said his immigration promises were quote, uninformed. Can Kelly ever come back from that do you think?

D'ANTONIO: I think that he can. No, as April pointed out, the President does seem now to be concerned that the competent people around him stay. And even if for the optics of it.

[23:25:01] It looks bad to have more people depart. The first year of his presidency was marked by so much turmoil, so much turnover. And we have to consider that some of the people are serving him very well under very tough conditions. Everyone talks about how he is the worst legal client a lawyer could ever have. Well he may be the toughest President a chief of staff has ever dealt with. He is the toughest guy almost anyone can deal with. And you have got to see too that he is going to insult you. He is going to in the case of General Kelly meeting with the press, try and put you in your place. And if you're a patriot and you're serving the country first, maybe you hang in there. And maybe we ought to be grateful for the service a lot of these folks are providing the rest of the country.

LEMON: April, you know Trump gave Kelly a public endorsement on twitter. What some call the kiss of death? I don't know. When we say you have confidence -- when someone say I have complete confidence. Saying Kelly is doing a fantastic job. Do you think his job security is in jeopardy or is he ok for the moment?

RYAN: You know its tough back there. There was one time a couple of weeks ago -- maybe a couple of months ago where I was getting calls from people and emails that it was a Friday. They said I'm hearing rumblings. Could Kelly be leaving? And then we heard that Kelly was not leaving. But Kelly has been having a hard time with this President we understand for a while. But the issue is this President wants to show that everything is steady, the course is going well. Kelly is very well revealed. He is a military man, a general who lost his son in Afghanistan on the battlefield. I mean, this man is revered by many in this nation. Even though he went awry with the comments about before the confederacy and the congresswoman.

People still feel that he is the neck under the head to help right this President. At issue they are having problems. I think also about Steve Bannon, remember when the "Saturday Night Live" piece came out when the President went at and sat down in the little chair versus the big chair. The president didn't like that. He felt like I am the President of the United States. He does have an ego let's just -- he is a brander but he has a big ego. And he didn't like that. That started a lot of the problem as well as Steve Bannon and Kushner and the family not getting along. But for this one, the President doesn't like the optics of the fact that there is a problem but there is indeed a problem. We have to see how it plays out.

LEMON: Thank you both. Have a good weekend. When we come back why Nancy Pelosi is calling the President's immigration proposal a campaign to make America white again. Democratic Congressman who represents part of the Texas, Mexico border joins me next with his response to the President's plan.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:32:40] LEMON: Now that the President is back in Washington after his trip to Switzerland he is turning his attention to the proposed deal for DREAMERS one with a very high price. It include as pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million young undocumented immigrants. It ends extended family migration for new applicants. Although existing applications are grandfathered in. Ends the diversely lottery and calls for $25 billion for the border wall and other security programs.

I want to talk about this this with Congressman Henry Cuellar a Texas Democrats who is a member of the appropriations committee. Representative Cuellar thank you so much for joining us this evening here on CNN. Yesterday. President Trump released his DACA proposal. Many Democrats already calling it a non-starter. What are your thoughts about the plan?

REP HENRY CUELLA (D), TEXAS, APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE: You know, we certainly want to work a deal out that calls a pathway for the -- for the DREAMERS and find a sort of sensible border security. As I told the President when 22 of us met with him there is a way of securing the border. But if you think that a wall is the only way to secure the border then you really doesn't understand the border because 40 percent of the undocumented aliens we have in the U.S. come in through a legal permit or visa. Or if you want to stop the drugs, most -- the drugs except for marijuana will come through the land bridges. So even if he put the most quote beautiful wall it's not stopping the people that you are trying to stop and more importantly, the drugs will come through land ports instead of between ports. We want to work with the President. We want to work with our Republican colleagues. But to put this high price of $25 billion for the wall and other security and cutting legal migration that makes it very hard to negotiate something that works for everyone.

LEMON: Congressman here is what the house minority leader Nancy Pelosi had to say earlier today about the proposal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: The plan is a campaign to make America white again. It's a plan that says over 50 percent of the current legal immigration will be cut back. That many people will be sent out of the country. If you read through it you're thinking, do they not understand that immigration has been the constant reinvigoration of America?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

[23:35:05] LEMON: Do you agree with her Congressman why does this make America white again?

CUELLAR: Well, you know, let me put it this way, if you look at the demographics that we have, the U.S. is not having the births that we used to have like we used to. So you need to have a constant flow of people through legal migration into the United States to make sure that we are able to have the jobs -- fulfill the jobs that we need. So, again -- we're not saying the way that our leader would say it. But if you look at what the White House is doing, it's very smart, because they dangle. They say we're not doing 800,000. We're putting 1.8.

It sounds enticing on one end. But on the other side you are cutting down the number of legal migration. And if you look at it the large number of people coming in are Hispanics because we have had ebbs -- highs and lows of different folks coming had might have been the Germans, might had been the Irish and might have been the Chinese. Right now it's the Hispanics coming in. But if folks have a problem with that then they're doing this in a smart way, because they're saying we'll give you 1.8 right now, but in the long run they cut millions and millions of legal migration because of what they are proposing.

LEMON: Isn't Mexico supposed to pay for the wall anyway? Wasn't that one of the President's main campaign promises?

CUELLAR: You know, you're right. I mean here we are trying to say let's put $25 billion in a trust fund. What happened to that other part of the campaign promise? Because the President said, you know, we are building a wall. And Mexico is going to pay for it. But at the end of the day who is paying for this? It's going to be the American taxpayers. So again he is trying to keep to that campaign promise. But, again if you are equating the wall to border security.

I'll say it again they don't understand the border. People coming into the border spend a few hours and they think they know more than some of us people that lived here all our lives. They just don't understand it. There is other ways of securing the border. But putting a 14th century solution called the wall to meet some of the 21st century challenges we have just shows that you do not understand the border security.

LEMON: But if the $25 billion wall would grant DREAMERS asylum here then is it worth it? Why not do it?

CUELLAR: Well because keep in mind it's not only the wall they're talking about. But talking about cutting over a period of time millions of millions of legal migration into the United States. So they dangle this saying oh, we are not going to do 800,000. We're going to do 1.8. It sounds good. I appreciate that step forward. But then we take five steps backwards, because they are cutting legal migration in the long run.

LEMON: Got it. Representative Cuellar, thank you for your time.

CUELLAR: Thank you so much.

LEMON: And when we come back, what do voters really think of the President's immigration plan? Our radio hosts join us next with what their callers want.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:42:55] LEMON: While speaking to world leaders in Davos President Trump tried to make the case for his immigration plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are also securing our immigration system as a matter of both national and economic security. America is a cutting edge economy. But our immigration system is stuck in the past. We must replace our current system of extended family chain migration with a merit-based system of admissions that selects new arrivals based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to support themselves financially and to strengthen our country. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Here discussing Syndicated talk radio host John Fredericks a former co-chair of Trump campaign in Virginia. And Joe Madison, Sirius XM host of the Joe Madison show. Good evening to both of you. Joe, the new White House immigration framework offers a path to citizen ship for 2 million immigrants. But comes with a price tag $25 billion to build a border wall, what are your listening saying about it.

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM: What everyone else was saying I thought Mexico was paying for it? That is exactly what my listeners are saying. In addition, they think the price is going to be higher, because if you start talking about rounding up DREAMERS, which the hard right wants them to, particularly those hard righters inside the west wing, then you might -- you might be looking at doubling that, because it cost to round people up, it cost the house them or detain them. It costs to ship them. But my listeners clearly are holding Donald Trump and his supporter's feet to the fire that you promised that Mexico will pay for that. And quite candidly it's not going to happen.

LEMON: Listen some people are saying that it's a mixed message from the White House. But it isn't -- I mean, isn't it a step in the right direction for DACA recipients and people who are wanting to see some kind of reform, Joe.

[23:45:03] MADISON: Yes, it is a step in the right direction. Look what its cost him, the far right has gone berserk. Right-wing talk show hosts. You have the Ann Coulters, you have the Breitbart. You have you know other -- just -- I mean, they're starting to call him names. They're literally bullying Donald Trump, because of the position that he is taking.

LEMON: Let's hear from a right-wing talk show host, John. You have some angry listeners too. But you're trying to convince them it's a good deal what are you telling them.

JOHN FREDERICKS, HOST, SYNDICATED TALK RADIO: Look my callers went 70-30 today in favor of the deal. But that is skewed because I spent four hours defending passionately, because I believe it. Here is the bottom line the President hasn't changed his position (inaudible) on amnesty. But he has to deal with the world of political reality. He has to get a deal on the table to approach 60 votes in the U.S. senate, be c Mitch McConnell is not going to get rid of the rule. So you have to have some compromises. That is why we elected him.

You got to make deals. It reflects the political reality. But the reaction today, Don from the Democratic Party and the national Democrats, the hypocrisy and duplicity has been exposed. I mean they ran around on TV for 12 months saying the kids, kids, the kids we got to take care of the kids. So the President says ok I'm taking care of the kids. Not only am I going to give amnesty and a pathway to citizenship for 800,000. But I'm giving another million children brought here illegal by their parents, the opportunity to stay in America. And for that I want simple legislative, long-term immigration reform that has not been accomplished by nine consecutive Presidents who tried starting with LBJ. So he is trying to get the deal done. But the hypocrisy of the Democrats is this.

They were exposed today. They're more interested in power. They want chain migration, because that is cheap labor for their donors and some of the Republicans and cheap votes. They don't care about the kids. If they did they'd jump on this deal. To say that $25 billion more a wall is too expensive here is the Democratic Party that Obama took over the debt was $8 billion. He left off it was $18.5 billion. He spent all this money -- trillion. I'm sorry I spent all this money. Now to say --

MADISON: John.

FREDERICKS: Let me just finish.

MADISON: But what you're not addressing.

FREDERICKS: You if you think.

MADISON: John what you're not addressing is the campaign promise the candidate made, the American people would not pay for that. And please don't sit here and look like $25 billion is chump change it is not.

FREDERICKS: I didn't say that but I said compare it -- compare it to a $10 trillion increase in debt from the Democrats they're complaining about it is simply laughable. Now let's get back to Mexico paying for it. What the President said is.

LEMON: John you have to do it after the break. I got to get to the break. We'll be right back.

FREDERICKS: Terrible.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[23:52:36] LEMON: Back with me now is John Frederick's and Joe Madison. Joe do you want to respond to what John was saying?

MADISON: No.

(LAUGHTER)

Look, the reality is every time we talk about the present and the future, you know, John goes back to what Obama ended up with. Well, Obama's not President. And people are getting tired of hearing that, and I will tell John, because some of your listeners must have come over to my show and they are ticked off and they are starting to question whether or not this makes sense.

I will say this, did you not hear the Congressman in the last segment say, and you're looking at a 14th century solution in the 21st century. The wall is nothing more than an ego tribute to Donald Trump. It's simply not going to work or at this point in time is it need. But Donald Trump said, Mexico is going to pay for the wall. And the former President of Mexico used some rather spicy language to say they're not going to pay for it.

LEMON: But now we're talking about $25 billion set aside in the fund for the wall which means that the American people are going to pay for a wall Joe.

MADISON: That is exactly what it means, they're going to pay for it. If he had said that during the campaign, if he had said, look, supporters, $25 billion, and you guys are going to pay for the wall, he would not have gotten elected.

LEMON: Are your listeners ok with them paying for the wall themselves?

FREDERICKS: Well I think the real argument here is when he said Mexico is going to pay for the wall, he meant that through a series of tariffs. Look, I am a protectionist --

LEMON: My question was, are your listeners ok with - that they are going to pay for the wall themselves instead of Mexico? Because there had been no tariffs, he asking for $25 billion from the American people which means the American people are going to pay for the wall not Mexico.

[23:55:00] FREDERICKS: Let me directly answer your question.

LEMON: You have 30 seconds.

FREDERICKS: Let me directly answer your question. He just slapped tariffs on South Korean washing machines and Chinese solar panels. So the tariffs are coming. He just did that. He understands it better than anybody in this.

LEMON: It is not Mexico.

FREDERICKS: As far as Trump supporters. That is coming. As far as Trump supporters, with the tradeoff of $25 billion with all the money we spent, our people feel it's worth it, because we have to go forward with this in order to get a structural, legislative permanent change.

(LAUGHTER)

LEMON: Oh my gosh. You still didn't answer the question. If I ask you if someone else is going to pay for this bill, and then I ask you for $25 billion, that means you're paying for it. I'm asking you for the money, John, it doesn't make sense. I got to go thou.

FREDERICKS: Sure it does.

LEMON: I got to go. That is it for us tonight. Thanks for watching, bye.

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