Return to Transcripts main page


President Trump Accepts Offer To Meet Kim Jong-un, Catching His Staff And Pentagon Officials Off Guard; Senator Lindsey Graham On North Korea Meeting; Trump's Obsession With Putin; Aired 11-Midnight ET

Aired March 8, 2018 - 23:00   ET



[23:00:47] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: This is CNN tonight. I'm Don Lemon. It is 11:00 p.m. here on the east coast, live with the breaking news tonight. President Trump agreeing to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong-un reportedly by May, less than eight weeks from now. That is according to South Korea's national security adviser who says Kim promised to quote, refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests. The press secretary Sarah Sanders tonight confirming that the President will meet with Kim. But not giving a time line for the meeting. The stunning news catching White House officials completely off guard tonight. One administration official telling CNN quote, this was not planned. It was all him and not just the President's own staff caught by surprise. Some Pentagon officials telling CNN they didn't know the announcement was even coming. I want to bring in CNN's Will Ripley, he is live for us in Seoul. Will, hello to you. You have spent a lot of time in North Korea. You know the players. Will Kim Jong-un really give up his precious nuclear weapons?

WILL RIPLEY, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, that is the million dollar question. Because at the same time that we are hearing about this meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Trump there was intelligence a few days ago that North Korea has stepped up production at Yongbyon nuclear reactor where they produce the materials to make the nuclear weapons. But look, when Kim Jong-un is looking at all of the cards on the table this was a Hail Mary pass and President Trump caught it. You have the threat of U.S. military action. You have sanctions that are getting increasingly crippling. And Kim Jong-un wants to stay in power for decades, long after President Trump leaves office and President Moon Jae-in South Korea leaves office. He has calculated that this diplomatic approach is the only way to go.

In a sit down meeting with the President of the United States is something that his father Kim Jong-il wanted, something that his grandfather also wanted and they could never make happen. And now Kim Jong-un apparently is going to be the first North Korean leader to do it. Look what he can tell his own people that he is sitting at the same table face-to-face with the President of the United States. Even the North Korean state media has blasted President Trump and called him a lunatic and dotard and of course President Trump called Kim Jong-un little Rocketman, short and fat and apparently that is going to be water under the bridge when this two leaders sit down at the table. But whether these meeting is going to amounts to anything, well that is really the open question.

LEMON: That is an open question. And Will, President Trump committing to meet with Kim Jong-un by May. What can you tell us about the time line and do we know where?

RIPLEY: We don't know where. We know that Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korea will be meeting with Kim Jong-un at the demilitarized zone in the truce village, the area straddling the dividing line between the Koreans where the inter-Korean talks first happened in January when they revived earlier this year. Will President Trump come here to South Korea for a meeting? Will he invite Kim Jong-un to the United States? Or could Kim Jong-un invite President Trump to visit Pyongyang? I mean we really have no idea where these meeting is going to takes place. And frankly the key players probably don't have any idea yet either, because this came together. Who would have thought six hours ago Don that this would be happening. Now here we are.

LEMON: What is the significance of this request being conveyed through the South Korean national security adviser at the White House? It wasn't in the White House, but outside on the lawn, what is the significance of that?

RIPLEY: Well, the fact that you know, Chung Eui-yong, the national security chief along with South Korea spy chief that they were in Pyongyang on Monday. They came here to saw how a very quick debrief with President Moon and then within hours they flew to Washington, went straight to the White House, heaped praise on President Trump for setting -- you know, the tone for creating the conditions to make this happen. You might have noticed in the remarks from the South Korean security chief it was all at first about praising President Trump.

Music to his ears. This allows President Trump to proclaim that he is the President who has made this happen, who made history. It's exactly what President Trump wants. And frankly we know that Kim Jong-un according to my sources he has been intensely studying President Trump trying to get inside his head to figure out what he could do to breakthrough with this President. And frankly it appears that he felt that unlike any other U.S. President who would have said we can maybe talk about a meeting down the road after so many different conditions are met. For example, the release of the three Americans who are still being imprisoned in North Korea right now. And instead President Trump made this snap decision skipping all the bureaucracy saying fine let's have a meeting, let us make it happen, let us do it in May. Kim Jong-un knew that no other U.S. President in the past or probably in the future whatever agree to do what President Trump has apparently agreed to do.

[23:05:09] LEMON: Will Ripley Seoul, South Korea. Will thank you for your reporting, we appreciate that. Now I want to bring in New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof who covered North Korea since the 1980s and traveled there three times, and written a column out tonight called President Trump's North Korea gamble. I have read your reporting. I heard what Will Ripley said. Is Kim Jong-un playing Donald Trump?

NICHOLAS KRISTOF, NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST: I think he probably is. I mean, I think that he has already been played in a sense that, look, I'm a long believer in direct talks between the U.S. and North Korea. I think the administration should have done this all along. But North Korea has always wanted to have its leader stand side by side with an American President. And in the past American Presidents had refused to do that because they didn't want to legitimize the North Korean leader. They didn't want to give the gift without something in return. Somehow we skipped all the preparations and we suddenly, apparently on impulse announced that our President is going to meet with the North Korean leader without getting anything obvious in return. And so, I mean it's certainly much better that they're going to be exchanging talks rather than exchanging missiles. But this is not the way to do a summit.

LEMON: You say so a visit by a sitting American President to North Korea would be a huge gift to Kim and it is puzzling that our great deal maker should give up so much right off the bat.

KRISTOF: The North Korea has wanted past Presidents to come. They've wanted other officials to come. Normally the way North Korea gets American officials to visit Pyongyang is that they have detained Americans in the way that they promise to free them is if an American official shows up. So Bill Clinton after he left office showed up in Pyongyang. And gave face to the North Korean. And two American detainees were freed. So this is something the North Koreans wanted. And we have apparently granted it for nothing. And you know, I mean, I think to President Trump's credit, it may be that North Korea is responding to elevated sanction pressure, which President Trump put in place.

And you know, that would be a good sign, the fact that they have promised to suspend missile and nuclear tests in the next few months is a promising sign. Maybe that offers some hope they would indeed be willing to give up their nuclear program to suspend nuclear and missile tests indefinitely. But the way to find that out is to have experienced diplomats, test the North Koreans, work things out. And offer a Presidential visit as the outcome of a successful negotiation rather than giving it away right off the bat. I mean, I'm going to say Don, it feels as if you are a President struggling with a Russia investigation, struggle with bad news about a porn actress and all of a sudden some guys show up and you say let's change the subject with a summit. Maybe that is too cynical.

LEMON: You do give them credit, you said does Trump give credit for pushing North Korea to make concessions such as suspension of testing. The answer I think is maybe he does. And you mention in two respects you said, first Trump raised the economic pressure on North Korea with the additional sanctions and next is support from (inaudible) and the pain was visible when I visited North Korea in September. That is number on, go on.

KRISTOF: That is right. And so clearly so Kim Jong-un has promised to raise the living standards of North Koreans and President Trump is getting in the way of that. And the other is that President Trump's talks about totally destroying North Korea. I'm not sure that that particularly frightened the North Koreans. It did very much frighten the South Koreans. And I think that fear is partly what pushed the South Koreans to this diplomacy which has resulted in this North Korean conversation.

LEMON: Here is the second respect, you say, second, excuse me Trump's talks about military strikes may or may not have rattled North Korea. But they certainly horrified South Korea. The upshot was South Korea's depth diplomatic outreach to North Korea leading to the North Korean promise to suspend testing.

KRISTOF: Yes, I mean, bravo to South Korea for pursuing this diplomacy. And if this is a diplomatic track that can get both sides talking and working out a deal that is great. It's just very weird. And you know, kind of dangerous to have a President who does not brief well, who responds impetuously. We've seen in Washington that he will periodically go off track and suddenly assert something in meetings and his staff has to dial him back afterward. It's a lot harder to do that to dial him back when you're conducting of an international negotiation.

[23:10:00] LEMON: Senator Lindsey Graham releasing a statement tonight saying in part, a word of warning to North Korean President Kim Jong-un, the worst possible things you can do is meet with President Trump in person and try to play him. If you do that it will be the end of you and your regime. What do you make of that warning?

KRISTOF: Well, I mean, I think Senator Graham has missed the point that I think President Trump has already been played. In other words by agreeing to go to -- or to North Korea -- or to have some kind of meeting somewhere with North Korea, we -- President Trump has already given Kim Jong-un the gift that he wants. So in that respect I think the playing has already occurred.

LEMON: President Moon -- how much credit, does he deserve any credit for this?

KRISTOF: I think he deserves a great deal of credit. You know this would have been very difficult to imagine a few weeks ago. I think President Moon was deeply alarmed by the prospect that there would be a war in which South Korea would be the battle ground. South Koreans were really alarmed by some of the tough rhetoric coming out of Washington. And so they reached out to North Korea. They managed to get this commitment to suspend nuclear tests and missile tests. Which is a -- you know, that really is a very genuine accomplishment.

And maybe they will figure out a way to pursue this. And lead to some kind of a peace deal, which would be a tremendous achievement. But the way we have responded in Washington, the process by instantly announcing a summit, does not give me confidence in our handling of that.

LEMON: Do you think the summit will happen? For sure? Or do you think they'll say on second thought.

KRISTOF: I don't think for sure. I'm sure there will be awful lot of administration officials who will be running around saying what have we done? But we saw that with the steel and aluminum tariffs as well. And Trump, you know, pursued.

LEMON: Forced ahead and did his own thing.

KRISTOF: He did it. And I suspect after announcing this he will go ahead and indeed politically this may make sense for him. He may come out to be seen as a peace maker and he does changes the subject from pretty bad other headlines.

LEMON: In your column by saying I wish the path began with extensive discussions at the national security adviser level and only then with a summit. But at least it suggests a recognition on both sides the way forward lies with talks rather than tanks. I think that is your assessment.

KRISTOF: Certainly better to be talking about peace than talking about nuclear war.

LEMON: Thank you. Always a pleasure.

KRISTOF: Good to be with you Don.

LEMON: Thank you. When we come back Donald Trump continuing obsession with Vladimir Putin. What we are learning about what happened when Trump was in Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant and that was in 2013.


[23:16:22] LEMON: The President has agreed to meet with a rogue dictator with the stunning breaking news that he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and a new book on Russia says he was even more interested in meeting with the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin back before he was President. I want to bring in CNN political commentator Tara Setmayer, Alice Stewart and Robby Mook. Good evening to all of you. Robby first, what do you make of this invitation of Kim Jong-un and the fact that the President seems to have accepted it?

ROBBY MOOK, CAMPAIGN MANAGER HILLARY FOR AMERICA: Well I want to start by giving him credit. That is unusual. But it is good that diplomacy is now -- I don't want to say strategy, but the direction the President is going in this. This was obviously completely counter to the direction that he was going initially. But it isn't part of a strategy. And I don't know who is pulling the strings here, if it is North Korea crafted this and made it happen. It feels to me more like the South Koreans are driving this, they are the ones talking to the north and then talked to him, but it is stunning that a United States President agreed to a meeting without consulting it seems with anybody who is an expert in the region and has brought up many times tonight, that the people don't exist right now. We don't even have an ambassador there. And that a foreign nation went out and announced the American press corps what the American President is doing. So I think it's encouraging that we are going this this direction. But this is a rudderless situation. And I can only imagine if this meeting does happen -- and I don't know that it will -- how the President will manage this. It's scary that he accepted it. It's scary what he might agree to in a room with the North Korean dictator.

LEMON: As I was watching this -- I mean I was thinking of what people are home thinking, why is this guy announcing it and not the President of the United States or some American diplomat, but Alice what's your take on how this went down. The South Korean national security adviser making the announcement at the White House. No one from the administration present.

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: It was bizarre, strange, especially given the way the President went into the briefing room a short time before and with glee told them a big announcement was coming out from South Korea. I think this was a good thing. I agree with Robby that this is a positive step. If the ultimate goal is the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, this I believe is a step in the right direction. I think it show that is diplomacy works. If there is a credible threat of military pressure and that is what we have here, if this was something that I believe the President thought was something that he should take credit for -- it just seems as though he would have been the one to make the announcement.

Moving forward I think we have to be careful, make sure that there are some preconditions. We have to make sure that the North Korea stays true to their promise, to make sure they are not furthering their program while we are waiting for these talks. And we have to keep sanctions in place, have to keep our military pressure in place. And all of those are important aspects if this were to be successful. I agree with Lindsey Graham and that if Kim Jong-un tries to play President Trump this will be the end of his regime. And he will -- he will regret it.

LEMON: Ok. I will bring Tara? Tara, because you knew about the President is unconventional, he traded repeatedly public insults with Kim Jong-un. They had been doing it for months, but the question is did the unconventional approach? This does seems to moves the needle somewhat?

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I will give the Trump administration credit for the amount of pressure that they have put on North Korea. More so for sure than the -- than the Obama administration.

[23:20:00] LEMON: Nick Kristof said even those sanctions are working.

SETMAYER: That is correct, it is what they call in the foreign policy community, and they call it maximum pressure. And that maximum pressure comes from a multipronged approach. And one of them is the sanctions and the additional sanctions that the treasury department has put on has also included some banks and some companies in China, because the North Koreans have been able to skirt sanctions for so many years. That is why they are still propped up, because of Russia and China and they have been able to gain the system.

LEMON: Having said that.

SETMAYER: You know, give them money, to keep them going. And then they say, we will do this and for 25 years it's been a game. But the Trump administration has firmly really put some pressure on there with sanctions and the military perspective. By introducing the THAD system.

LEMON: You are saying all those things, but having said that, you have some reservation.

SETMAYER: Yes, I have reservations about the timing of the President accepting this meeting so eagerly. They need to let this maximum pressure continue to work. Given the fact that so many other stake holders in our government were unaware of this. It almost seems like the President has decided that he is his own ambassador, he is his own strategist and he just decided to make a huge decision, because it's something that no one has ever done before. It's almost like he went full Nunberg on this, where he said look, no one else has done it, I'm trending, I am going to do it now. Just like what he did with tariffs. That is the part I think concerns most people professionals in the foreign policy community, because this is a very delicate situation here. There is an opportunity here and let's hope he doesn't blow it.

LEMON: So Robby, I want to switch gears here for a moment and talk about President Trump and Vladimir Putin, there is a new book out by David Corn and Michael Isikoff and it is called "What happened in Moscow, the inside story of how Trump's obsession with Putin began." And it portrays Donald Trump as obsessed with scoring a meeting with Putin and landing a Trump tower Moscow deal in November 2013. Trump was overseeing the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Here is what they write, they said from the moment five months earlier when Trump announced Miss Universe would be staged that year in Moscow, he seemed obsessed with the idea of meeting the Russian President. As a pageant approached Trump became uneasy, is Putin coming, he kept asking. The book says Trump was stood up by Putin who opted to send a gift with a personal letter. We don't know the contents of either. So what do you make of the whole book and what they say?

MOOK: Well, Donald Trump has been obsessed with Vladimir Putin for some time. And all we need to do is look back at essentially any comment he has made about Putin since the time he was running for President, before he was running for President, since he became President. So I think this is just helping back filling a lot of what we already knew. It would be interesting to see if he tries to pitch Kim Jong-un on building a tower in Pyongyang. It wouldn't surprise me.

I thinks in- this is about two things that drive Donald Trump, his ego and his bank account. We know that his business interests are heavily intertwined with Russians. He makes a lot of money from Russians. I imagine he was seeking further investment. He was trying to build Trump tower in Moscow. And Putin's probably the key to getting that done. But I also think that as we saw with this meeting with the South Koreans, they began by praising him, complimenting him. I'm sure he was seeking Putin's affirmation when he was over in Russia. I don't think this is new. But it definitely helps us understand how long that this relationship and this coziness has existed.

LEMON: Let me get the quote out here. The authors also write, you know he tried to hide disappointment by suggesting that you know -- to associate with the Miss Universe pageant to announce that Putin had dropped by he said, no one will know for sure if he came or not he said. Why would this be so important to him?

SETMAYER: Well there is a few things. First of all, you can't build anything of significance in Russia without Vladimir Putin's blessing and Donald Trump knew that, which is why he was so desperate to meet with him, because to Robby's point he had been for 30 years since the 80s obsessed with trying to do thing, build things in Russia, Moscow. He knew that was the key to moving forward. But something else that was important in the excerpt, he also talks about the billionaire real estate developer who he befriended as a result of this.

Which is the name everyone knows, tight? The Agalarov. His son was an aspiring pop singer and he agreed to perform at the Miss Universe concert -- Miss Universe pageant. But Agalarov was key in the Trump tower meeting in 2016. So their relationship which developed through this Miss Universe pageant in Moscow led to what happened with that meeting in Trump tower that is under scrutiny by Mueller. There were a lot of shady characters that were also at the pageant. There were Russian money launderers there. The Russian mafia was there. But Donald Trump didn't care any about that.

[23:25:00] When they had meeting in Las Vegas for the Miss Universe pageant Donald Trump was surrounded by questionable people there too all with the same facilitators, the Goldstone P.R. guy and the Agalarov's. And they are associate with the Trump tower meeting in June. Anyone believing that Trump didn't know about this, I think strains credulity.

LEMON: there are so many questions about the Trump campaign and the Trump administration and their contacts with Russia. Alice, I want to ask you, though, as we look at this North Korea story, and everyone has seemed to say that the sanctions are working -- they're working. So if the sanctions are working then why no sanctions with Russia.

STEWART: That is a great question. Clearly he has had a long history of infatuation or bromance with Vladimir Putin. This excerpt from these book just goes to show back then it was dealing with possible business ventures and desire as Tara said to build something over there you have to go through Vladimir Putin. And the problem now is he is the President of the United States. And we now know that Russia interfered with our election and possibly influenced the outcome of the election. So he need to take a stronger more serious look at Vladimir Putin and possibly impose sanctions on Russia. And take action to penalize them for their interference.

Not just for the election, but the American process overall. This yet again scores, he has a long history of his feelings towards Vladimir Putin, but we need to take a different look at it now given what Russia has done.

LEMON: I got to go. I don't have time when we come back I got to go. When we come back the President saying he likes the outgoing economic adviser Gary Cohn even though he is a globalist. We are going to look at the ugly history of that term and how far right extremist use it to suggest racial and anti-Semitic ideas. When we come back.


[23:30:55] DON LEMON, CNN TONIGHT NEWS SHOW HOST: Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn final cabinet meeting was today, not at all coincidentally the same day President Trump announced tariffs. 25 percent on steel imports, 10 percent on aluminum. The very policies that prompted Cohn to resign this week. But in the Trumpiest way possible the President tried to make it clear today there were no hard feelings.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is Gary Cohn's last meeting in the cabinet and of the cabinet. And he has been terrific. He may be a globalist, but I still like him. He is seriously a globalist. There is no question. But you know what, in his own way he is a nationalist, because he loves our country.


LEMON: Ok, so globalist. Now where have we heard that before? Well the one thing for one thing in a statement Tuesday to the office of management and budget Director Mick Mulvaney quote, as a right-wing conservative and founding member of the freedom caucus I never expected the coworker I worked closest and best with at the White House would be a globalist. That word globalist keeps popping up, it sounds like a pretty mainstream term, a description of an economic and political ideology. But it's more than that. It's also become a dog whistle to right-wing conspiracy theorist. Mark (inaudible) of the anti-defamation league tells "The New York Times" the far right uses globalism as shorthand for world view based on racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism. He points out that after the cold war, the far right develop an obsession with prominent Jews like philanthropist George Soros.

The President's old frenemy Steve Bannon frequently targeted globalism at Breitbart news with headlines like by Paul Sanger and George Soros billionaire book ends globalist opposition to Trump agenda. But there is more, from conspiracy theorist Alex Jones who outrageously claims include calling the Sandy Hook massacre a hoax and 911 is an inside job. Quote, the globalist plan to divide America is intensifying. Quote, Bernie Sanders is another globalist scammers who let Hillary rob the nomination, but the victim class loves to get robbed. Go to Venezuela.

This quote, globalist elites are now evacuating western countries to recursive islands, bunkers and terrorists who escape the rising tide of nationalist pride sweeping the world. So what does it mean when the President of the United States freely uses a term like globalist, a term that is also used in the darkest corners of the far right? Here to discuss CNN political commentator Peter Beinart, contributing editor of the Atlantic and senior columnist for the "Forward." Also CNN political commentator Jack Kingston, a former congressman and a senior adviser to the Trump campaign. Good evening, gentleman.


LEMON: What does it mean to you to call someone a globalist? Jack?

KINGSTON: None of the sinister things that the article has described. I think somebody who a globalist is somebody who is free trade at any cost and maybe favors more giving up sovereignty in exchange for oversight laws. I can tell you this, that when we voted on NAFTA, our GAD, and our most favored nation status for China. There was always this suspicion we were giving up our rights to globally elected international boards who decide how we can -- what our labor standards or environmental standards would be, and so generally speaking a globalist would be somebody who kind of sides on the international body side of governing as opposed to one government and your own country. And let me say this, Don, it's a very loose term. I don't think there is any specific you know two people probably would have a different connotation of it.

LEMON: So Peter let's talk about that, for many people the term globalist is an anti-Semitic undertone. I went to some of the history right there also popular with the alt-right with Breitbart and the Bannon wing. How does it made its way to the White House?

PETER BEINART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is a very old stereotype about Jews.

[23:35:00] The Jews are not loyal to the country in which they live, but they are loyal to some global conspiracy, like a global capitalist conspiracy. Jewish conspiracy are communist conspiracy. And that is why you disproportionally find the people who are called globalist like George Soros are Jew. It is sort of like the term thug, right? The term thug is always seems often to be applied to African- Americans. That is not to say every person who uses the term globalist is anti-Semitic. I'm not saying that. But the question is, are we going to give Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt? This is a guy who said, I want only one guy with yarmulke counting my money. A guy who said to the Republican Jewish coalition, you won't support me, because I don't want your money, but your great deal makers. A guy in the final ad closing out of the campaign ran this ad showing three Jews, only Hillary Clinton and three Jews, Soros, Blankfein, the head of Goldman Sachs and Janet Yellen at the Federal Reserve, and talk about the global power structure and the global lead which is destroying the American economy. I don't think he get the benefit of the doubt anymore. We got too many incidents.

LEMON: Jack, I mean there are some on the far right who promote this idea that Jews control banking, that Jews control the media and economy. Do you see how some people do use the word globalism as code for the anti-Semitic stereotypes?

KINGSTON: Well I don't agree with that. Let me say this. For example if you look back at this kind of one world government suspicion, things like the Club of Rome that was founded by David Rockefeller that had people in it for like the King of Spain, the Queen of Spain, Henry Kissinger, you know, they have people from the right, they had people from the left. And there is the great suspicion these people are going to run our nation. I will point out Michelle Bachman even introduced a resolution once that said the President of the United States could not enter into a treaty that would allow us to forgo the dollar in exchange for some international legal tender.

BEINART: Jack this is looney tunes. This is.

KINGSTON: You know what --


BEINART: This doesn't exist as a threat to the United States.

KINGSTON: Peter, you know what, I'm just saying that it's out there. And it's a black helicopter -- it's a black helicopter.

BEINART: No you shouldn't participate in it.

LEMON: That is my question by continuing to use the word is the President main streaming a far right term.

BEINART: Yes, Gary Cohn.

KINGSTON: No. I think we can get too excited and too anti-Trump on this. If you look at those steel workers, those aluminum workers who were in the White House today at that announcement, those are the people who want to have America look out for America. That is why America first is so important to the voters back home. Because they get it. There is.

LEMON: What does is have to do with the term globalism or globalist?

KINGSTON: Because the idea, let me say, having been in congress and vote the on a lot of trade agreements and other kind of U.N. related foreign operation type issues, that people feel like we get beat at the bargaining table and need to look out for America more.

LEMON: What does that have to do with the term globalist?

KINGSTON: A globalist would put America interest second whereas a nationalist.

BEINART: Are you really suggesting Gary Cohn disagreed with Trump's position on tariffs, we could have the debate. Are you suggesting that Gary Cohn doesn't put America's interests first?

KINGSTON: Peter I can't feign excitement over this that you seem to be able to do.

BEINART: We have a different life experience. I get more excited about things, because I actually happen to be whom from the people that have actually been on the down side of this kind of anti-Semitic theories.

KINGSTON: You're absolutely wrong. I know -- you're absolutely wrong on that. You know I know that it is kind of catchy to say, we're being labeled, but I'm telling you David Rockefeller and the Club of Rome, the trilateral council on foreign relations all these international boards.

BEINART: You're spewing.

KINGSTON: This are the international board that when people think about globalism they think about these groups putting America in second.

LEMON: Just because someone is ignorant of the term doesn't make it right. Just because -- maybe you should explain to people who think it's ok to say that. That is not the term that you use or there are other terms that you can use for that.

KINGSTON: I don't -- I think that you are putting on a little more into this term than there really is. I say that.

LEMON: I'm just asking as someone who has been called the N word, some people like to use it, I don't like the term and if I'm offended by it you should be cognizes of the fact that I am offended by, whatever way you used it don't use that word around me and it's offensive to some people.

KINGSTON: Let me say this. Having been raised in an integrated society and having gone to schools where I had people of all religion my daughter's god father for example Peter is Jewish, he has been my best friend. I was at his bar mitzvah. He was in my wedding. I spoke in his synagogue.

LEMON: Do you use the term globalist around him?

KINGSTON: I would not and I can tell you, Jonathan Matthew Harvey of South Carolina would not vetted him out because neither he nor I ever put that term in context of being anti-Semitic.

[23:40:03] Let me say this, you know what, I'm listening to you, Peter. And I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt. I think that -- I see your point of view. But you should be able to say that understand that it's a different.

BEINART: If it were somebody else I would --


LEMON: Let's give Peter the last word.

KINGSTON: I just want to know what.

BEINART: I am not someone who thinks that you should throw around the time and I submit lightly. I think lots of people who could use the term globalist, but the question -- the problem is why does Trump keep doing this? Why does he keep referring to Jews in the context of people who are only concerned about money and are part of shadowy power structures? Stop using this term of word.

LEMON: OK. I got to go guys. When we come back a former Russian spy poisoned by a nerve agent on British soil. We'll talk about that.


LEMON: It is a story that seems like it comes right out of a novel. A former Russian spy, his daughter and a police officer among those injured in an attack with a nerve agent in the U.K. No one is taking credit for the attack. But all signs point to Moscow.

[23:40:00] Let's discuss with the CNN intelligence and security analyst Bob Baer, a former CIA operative and CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem, a former department of homeland security official. Thank you both for coming on this evening. Bob, police officials say that 21 people have received treatment after the attempted assassination. What's your reaction?

BOB BAER, INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY ANALYST, CNN: My reaction, Don, it was probably some sort of aerosol contained the poison, they got sprayed, maybe low fentanyl something like that gets in the air affects a lot of people. It is very dangerous. You can die very quickly from something like low fentanyl. You know I agree it's almost certainly the Russian. This was obviously not a criminal gang or personal vendetta or something like that. Only a trained intelligence operative could carry out an attempt like this. And I think it's just a matter of time before they come up with a name of the nerve agent and trace it back to Moscow.

LEMON: Juliette, U.K. foreign secretary Boris Johnson said this incident had echoes of the murder of former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned with polonium. An investigation by the U.K. came to the conclusion that Putin himself likely approved that operation. Do you have any doubts that Putin was behind this?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: No doubt. So far the British are being circumstance about attribution of the state police so this is different though. This impacted at least two dozen British citizens, including a police officer or first responder who is still in the hospital. So it has a greater impact than the sort of the targeted assassination that we saw just a couple of years ago and I think the British are waiting on attribution, because with attribution they have to do retribution or you know some punishment which will, you know their hands are a little bit tied. It is hard to do, but it will probably involve, you know expelling some Russians from Britain and some possible increased sanctions. But this is what is hard. Putin comes into the countries does this, very difficult to have anything as -- a strong sort of national response, because this is -- you know this is like a former of terrorism in some ways.

LEMON: Yes. Bob the Russian embassy in the U.K. has actually tweeted about the attack. In response to reports calling the victim a Russian spy and they wrote he was actually a British spy working for MI-6. I want you to listen to this clip, it is from an anchor at the Russian state run TV network.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (TRANSLATOR): The traitor's profession is one of the most dangerous in the world. According to statistics, it is much more dangerous than being a drug courier. Those who choose it rarely live in peace and tranquility to a venerable old age. Alcoholism and drug addiction, stress, severe nervous breakdown and depression are the inevitable occupational illnesses of the traitor. And as a result heart attacks, strokes, traffic accidents, and finally, suicide.


LEMON: So we don't know conclusively that this was a state sanctioned attack yet. But it doesn't seem like the Russians are losing any sleep over it, right, Bob?

BAER: Absolutely. I agree with Juliette, I mean the Russians almost wanted to get caught. The message to exiles, especially ex- intelligence officers is we can get you anywhere at any time and if you work with the British, if you work with the Americans we are coming to get you. And just like Litvinenko, I mean there was barely an attempt to hide that. They traced the polonium back to the Russian reactor. It can only been with the orders of Putin. And Putin probably ordered this. There was a law passed in 2006 in Russia allowing the Russian intelligence service to make hits overseas. I mean it's a public law.

LEMON: Why isn't this treated as a terrorist incident, Juliette?

KAYYEM: Well, it very well may be. But if it's state sanctioned its actually worse, because, you know, you're not going to war with Russia over this. Nonetheless you have to actually protect your nation. And you see this kind of emboldens. We always talk about Russia hasn't been checked, whether you're elections or these kinds of attacks, Russia just gets more and more emboldened in the capacity to do it.


KAYYEM: And so the British are being smart about waiting because the moment they say it's the Russian they're going to have to do something. One quick thing. People like Bob and I travel abroad. You come back to the hotel room. And you know you kind of think has someone has been here? But they're pretty careful about what they do. The Russians not only want you to know they've been there, but it was them. And that is a very scary sign. Because they don't believe that will be checked.

LEMON: Bob, Juliette thank you so much. We appreciate that. We'll be right back.


[23:53:38] LEMON: There is no name in American politics as legendary as Kennedy. While you know their name you might not know the whole story. This Sunday, the new CNN series American Dynasty of the Kennedy's shows new light on the iconic family and the ways their personal relationship impacted public life in the global scale. I originally sat down with Kit Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy's granddaughter and she interviewed me about some of my memories of covering the Kennedy family. Take a look.


me today Don.

LEMON: Absolutely.

KENNEDY: Now you covered a few stories about my family. I wanted to ask which one stands out the most.

LEMON: well there is one that stands out but sadly it is a tragic one and it had a huge impact on not only my career, but my life. It showed me that life is very fragile and you have to go on and accomplish things. I was a young, upcoming journalist, news anchor and it was in the summer of 1999, and it was my first day anchoring at a news station, I had just started working.

KENNEDY: The search for John F. Kennedy Jr. his wife and sister-in- law.

LEMON: We got word on a Friday evening that JFK Jr.'s plane had gone missing. And the next morning I had to wake up and do the morning show and they were still searching for him and for Carolyn and for Lauren, who are the passengers, and sadly it turns out they didn't find them, and it was one of the most tragic stories that I covered in my entire career.

[23:55:15] KENNEDY: So going back to earlier years your parents and grandparents were admirers of the Kennedy family, weren't they?

LEMON: Yes. My entire family. Yes When I was growing up there were three pictures that weren't family on the dressers in our house, and that was Jesus, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and John Kennedy.


LEMON: 8 bits in frames, because obviously is people of color, the civil rights movement was very important and what the Kennedy's did for civil rights, meant the world to us. It allowed us -- my family accessed to things that we had not access to which was the American dream.

KENNEDY: Is that the lesson of my family's legacy?

LEMON: I think the lesson of your family's legacy to me is that the office you hold, and the position you have and you're the influence, are bigger than yourself than what you have to gain from it. Which is really the American way.


LEMON: Be sure to tune in to American dynasty, The Kennedy's premiere this Sunday at 9:00 only here on CNN. Make sur you tune in. That is it for us. Thanks for watching. I'll see you right back here tomorrow.