Return to Transcripts main page
CNN Source: President Considering Firing Rosenstein In An Effort To Check Mueller; POTUS Had Dinner With Alan Dershowitz Tonight; Trump Attorney Being Investigated By Federal Prosecutor In New York City; Official: President Trump Re-Evaluating Interview With Mueller After Cohen Raid; Facebook Crisis. Aired 11-12a ET
Aired April 10, 2018 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. It is 11:00 p.m. here on the East Coast. We're live with breaking news. Sources telling CNN President Trump is now considering firing Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, that's the only man that stands between the President and Robert Mueller.
Firing Rosenstein is something that could put Trump in Saturday night massacre territory. But officials say even that may not be enough for a furious president. A source tell CNN, the president and his aides have discussed firing Robert Mueller himself for months. We are also learning Trump has discussed with members of Congress, who have warned him, it would be a disaster in the midterms.
I want to bring in now CNN Political Correspondent, Sara Murray.
Sara, good evening. Thanks for joining us. So fill us in on what more you're learning about the president's thoughts on firing Rosenstein?
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL REPORTER: Well, our team has learned that the President is once again considering firing the Deputy Attorney General. And of course, we know that this is something that he has considered before we know that he is long been unhappy with many of the top officials at the Justice Department as well as the ongoing Russia probes.
But there's a new urgency in this after we saw the raids on the President's long time lawyer Michael Cohen. And there are some of the president's adviser, who now believes that he has a stronger case to make, if he does decide to go forward and dismiss Rosenstein.
They believe that Rosenstein crossed the line in terms of what should or should not be pursued, what he is allowed to pursue in regards to what comes up in the Russia probe and how they move forward with that. Now, there are certainly people in the President's ear saying absolutely do not do this, it will cause a crisis. But there are other people who are saying, look, if you're going to fire anyone, it makes more sense for you to go after Rosenstein than it does after Special Counsel, Robert Mueller. Obviously, we saw in a number of Republican lawmakers on television
today, essentially saying that that would be suicide for Donald Trump's presidency to go forth with firing Mueller. Now, it's also possible that the President could decide to dismiss more than one person at the Justice Department.
We know that he is still angry with Attorney General. Jeff Sessions. This is a person he has vented about firing a number of times. So it's possible he could become a target of the President's ire, source of familiar with this situation are telling us that as of right now, the President's primary target does seem to be Rod Rosenstein, and this is an a discussion that has been going on with the President and his advisers.
LEMON: We are also learning tonight that the President canceled his trip to South America in part, because of all of this?
MURRAY: That's right. And of course, you know, the reason that the White House gave for slapping this trip to South America with the president with a lot of decision to make when it comes to responding to this chemical attack in Syria and how to move forward, but sources are also telling my colleagues that deciding whether he wants to make changes at the Justice Department or weighing on the president as well. He has talk to his new National Security Adviser, John Bolton, as well as Chief of Staff John Kelly, they both said, that you know, essentially if you want to scrap the trip, go ahead. We encourage that.
It's also worth noting, that this was not a trip that President Trump was particularly excited to make in the first place. He knew he wasn't necessarily going to be getting a warm reception in South America with the combination of Syria and everything that has been going on with Michael Cohen, and the president weighing in whether or not he wants to make changes at the Justice Department, there were a lot of reasons for him to decide to stay behind.
LEMON: Sara Murray, thank you. I appreciate your reporting. I want to bring in now Robert Bennett, who was President Bill Clinton's personal attorney and Apollo Jones Lawsuit, also Jack Quinn who was Clinton White House counsel. Gentlemen, good evening. I appreciate joining me here on CNN. Bob, let me ask you, let's start with CNN's breaking news. That the President may fire Rod Rosenstein. That would be a bombshell. What would the reaction be?
ROBERT BENNETT, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Well, I think the biggest reaction would be a political one. I'm not convinced that the Republicans who spoke, what a disaster it would be would really stand up and not support him. You know, I'd have to see them actually do that. I think that could just be -- that could be talk.
But I think it would be very harmful to the President's situation. He is not going to make the case go away. He may delay it. He may fracture some of it, but what he should do -- and I have no doubt about this -- is let it play out. And if there is an impeachment, which remember is only a charge.
BENNETT: Then try the case in front of a Republican Senate, which it'll probably stay Republican with the Chief Justice, Roberts, as the judge, win it there and declare a victory. And that is what he should do.
LEMON: Well, we have to remember Bill Clinton was impeached, but stayed in office. So it doesn't mean it would necessarily mean it would be necessarily be the end of his precedency.
[23:05:00] BENNETT: No, that's right. And we --
JACK QUINN, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: it takes a two thirds vote, remember.
LEMON: Yes. So, jack, would firing Rosenstein necessarily get the President what he likely wants which is his ability to contain the Special Counsel investigation?
QUINN: Well, that would be the only purpose of getting rid of Rosenstein. Is to put somebody in there, who would try to trim Mueller sales, which I think it'll be exceedingly difficult. I can't imagine that somebody will come in and sit in Rosenstein's place and try to baby-sit him and redirect of the course of the investigation. That is just not going to happen.
I think, by the way, I totally agree with everything Bob said, by the way. And I think that if he tries to replace Rosenstein, if he tries to replace Sessions, it would be seen for what it is. It would be seen as the act of a man with a guilty mind. You know, innocent people don't behave this way. They don't threaten to fire anyone who's taken a hard look to what they've done. They don't try to interfere in investigations. They cooperate, they profess to be innocent. They should act innocence.
LEMON: Yes. So, listen, you know, we had been talking about Bill Clinton, I brought up Bill Clinton and talked about him being impeached and staying in office. Bob, you represented Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinski scandal, as you see the raid against the President's lawyer, the connection to women and the alleged sexual affairs, are they're parallels to these investigations that we can learned from maybe the President can learn from it and his team?
BENNETT: Well, the one lesson is -- and you put your finger on it, Don, in one of your questions -- is our whole strategy in President Clinton's case was to keep him in office. And we did not gets sidetracked by all this personal attacks and so forth. President Clinton did not like Ken Starr, but he kept his powder dry and our strategy was, how do we keep him in office, and we were successful.
LEMON: Jack, you were the former White House Council for President Clinton, the whole idea that a President's lawyer could be raided and documents seized. I mean that is shocking, documents related to private communication with his client, talk to me about, how precedent it is and what this means. QUINN: Well, in the case of presidential lawyers, I believe it's
unprecedented. And you know, it is very, very unusual for the Justice Department or any U.S. attorney actually to conduct a search of an attorney's office.
LEMON: So is it odd then that -- you know, the attorney would think it's a fishing expedition?
QUINN: It's not a fishing expedition. They have to go before a magistrate judge. They had to determine, they had -- I'm sorry, they had to demonstrate that they had probable cause not only that a crime was committed, but the evidence of that crime would be found in the locations they specified.
This is a very exacting process. You can't just willy-nilly go in and say, I'd like to fish around in, you know, attorney so-and-so's office. This was run up through the highest levels of the Department of Justice.
LEMON: OK, so let me ask you this. Let me ask you this, because -- when Stormy Daniels attorney, Michael Avenatti was on, he brought up the whole idea, the home equity line of credit, he didn't tell the bank. Also, I spoke with my law officer, he said, he didn't have to, he doesn't have to tell the bank on what is he going to do with money, as long as he pay the money back, but also a source is saying that, you know, with this home equity line of credit that is what -- I think that is what Cohen is worried about. That is where he sees the bank fraud or whatever financial fraud, he doesn't see it there. So, what do you make of that?
QUINN: Yes, well, number one, there's no way that the Department of Justice and the southern district of New York acted this aggressively, because of, you know, false information on a loan application or because of the Stormy Daniels or any of the other women --
LEMON: So you think something else, something bigger?
QUINN: I think that they have discovered evidence of a significant crime. I think it was unrelated directly to what Mueller is already investigating, and that is why Rosenstein directed it be handed off to the Southern District of New York. But I think that the crimes in question, which may be fraud of a different kind, you alluded to some of them.
We know that they were interested in materials relating to, I think it was the National Inquirer. And it may be that they're looking for fraud in connection with Cohen's dealings with them. But whatever the case may be, I think they're looking at something very serious. I think that Mr. Cohen probably is in significant legal jeopardy.
[23:10:00] And I think that the President is probably very, very concerned about the fact that Michael Cohen is not just a lawyer, but he is somebody who has worked for him in non-legal capacities.
QUINN: And those capacities, there is no privilege.
LEMON: As I said knows where the bodies are buried.
QUINN: And there are documents indicating where the bodies are.
BENNETT: I agree with Jack's analysis. And, you know, I know Mr. Cohen's a lawyer, but I'm not entirely clear when he is acting as a lawyer, when he is acting as a fixer. When he is acting as a friend, and that can affect the attorney-client privilege.
LEMON: Hey, Bob, can I ask you something, because a law professor, Alan Dershowitz was at the White House with President Trump tonight. Dershowitz has been a big critic of the Mueller investigation, it has appeared on Fox News, opposing the FBI raid on Cohen. What do you make of this?
BENNETT: Well, Allan, likes to be the rebel, and I don't make much of it. I mean, I'll be honest with you, Don, I don't have high regard for him. And I think he should stay in the classroom and let real lawyers help the President.
QUINN: Far be it for me to contradict Bob. I think that -- I'm quite sure that there's no way Mr. Dershowitz is going to join the President's legal team and actually start practicing in connection with this case. Now, I think the unfortunate thing is that he might encourage the President to do something like relieve one of these people, Mueller or Sessions or Rosenstein.
And I think the consequences of that would be catastrophic for the President, for the remainder of his presidency, for the Republican Party. And I think it would be really unfortunate for the country.
LEMON: I could talk to you guys all night.
BENNETT: I agree with you, Jack, on that. I'm worried that Allan would -- you know, he is a wonderful law professor. I mean there's just no question about it, but this is not his thing. And he could encourage the President to do something that would be disastrous.
LEMON: Yes. So next time we have you on, Bob, why don't you say how you really feel, OK?
BENNETT: Well, I haven't really told you how I really feel. I was rather subdued and --
QUINN: You should have heard him in the greenroom.
LEMON: Thank you, Bob. Thank you, Jack. Always a pleasure. I appreciate it.
QUINN: Thank you.
LEMON: When we come back, we're learning more tonight about the FBI raid on the home and the office of President Trump's attorney. A source telling CNN, the top prosecutor in Manhattan was recused before the raid. Why is that? I'm going to ask two attorneys who worked in that office.
[23:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A surprise FBI raid on a home and office of President Trump's attorney Michael Cohen was handled by Federal Prosecutor from the Southern District of New York, which is famous for prosecuting high profile corruption cases.
So, joining me now two attorneys who know it as well as anyone knows it, and that is Daniel Goldman. He is former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. And John Flannery, is a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.
So, you guys know your stuff. Good evening, gentlemen. John, to you first. A source is telling CNN that Geoffrey Berman, who is top Federal Prosecutor in Manhattan recused himself from the Cohen investigation before the search warrant was issued. Why might that be? Why would he do that?
JOHN FLANNERY, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: Well, I understood that he was not only with the Rudy Guiliani from, he took a very visible role in the Trump campaign, but he made a contribution in excess of $5,000. I think he maxed out on the campaign. But there's a long history in that office of being partisan blind, if you will.
In fact, one of the reasons I went there and wanted to prosecutor official corruption cases was the U.S. Attorney Whitney North Seymour, who was a Republican, appointed by Nixon, whose boss was Mitchell. He actually indicted his own boss when he was the U.S. Attorney. That kind of independence doesn't happen in a lot of places.
And at the time when I was looking into becoming a prosecutor, I crossed the river in New Jersey and I talked with Stern, the U.S. attorney there, and he was famous for following the money. So that is the office that you go to, if you want to prosecutor official corruption cases with the best.
LEMON: Your camera has a mind of its own. So --
FLANNERY: I noticed. I noticed, I saw it drifting and I was wondering if I was drifting.
LEMON: That was me doing. You're looking too handsome and you are outshining me tonight, stealing my thunder so I was trying to get the camera off at you. FLANNERY: Wait, I should put on my glasses, so I look more like you.
How's that? Is that better?
LEMON: So, listen. Daniel, I got to ask you, because Berman was appointed on an interim basis by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, that was back in January and needs to be nominate by May 5th or his appointment expires. Do you think that has anything to do with his recusal?
DANIEL GOLDMAN, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY, SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK: I do. I think that most likely, he is not been nominated nor has he been appoint as -- sorry nor has he been permanently placed in that position. So, he is sort of in there on an interim basis pending nomination. And given that nomination comes from the President and how close and sensitive this nature -- this issue is with Cohen to the President. I think that is the most likely reason why he recused himself.
The other potential reason that I can think of is that, in an unusual course of action, the President himself interviewed Mr. Berman. And that is not the normal course, because you want to keep the divide between the presidency and the political officials and the Department of Justice in an ordinary time which we are not necessarily in. And so the fact that the President interviewed him gives him the potential appearance of a conflict of interest, if Berman was going to weigh in on whether or not to authorize this search warrant.
LEMON: Got you. There's a lot of things that I want to get to you and a short time we had left, so, quickly John, because we learned that investigators are interested in paperwork that is relating to Michael Cohen's ownership of New York City Taxi Medallions. Is there any significance in that? What's the significance of that?
[23:20:00] FLANNERY: Well, the significance may be who the taxi cab folk are associated with. There's a history in New York. I hate to even say that, because I don't have any evidence of that. And I understood they seized that Medallions, and if you are aware of what -- how taxicabs exist in New York, they're very expensive, because they limited the numbers. And I don't know if there are bogus Medallions or they hope to find something.
And I don't know what plane do you search would lead them not having seen the affidavit and support of the search warrant, what they thought they were there looking for. But I can imagine that they saw the Medallions and they thought there was anything suspect about them, they made a plain view acquisition. Meaning, they are there for a legitimate reason and they see something, they have reason to believe that it is evidence of some crime, and they'll take it away. If they find it's nothing, they'll return them.
LEMON: Yes. Let me ask you about, because, I had Michael Avenatti, who is Stormy Daniels' attorney on earlier and he spoke about his home equity line. A credit saying, he didn't think Michael Cohen told the bank what he is going to do with the money, but if you know anything about home equity lines and credit, you don't really have to in most cases tell them what you are doing. You can use the money for whatever you want, but if it was -- and if they are seeing the fraud there, would this -- would they have been able to get a, you know, permission to a search warrant to go do a no-knock warrant to on someone for that?
GOLDMAN: It's hard to speculate, Don, because we haven't seen the affidavit. We don't know what the basis for the search warrant is and frankly, Michael Cohen, most likely has not seen the affidavit nor have his lawyers.
LEMON: So do you think he may be in more trouble than he realizes or he doesn't know what is going on?
GOLDMAN: Well, I think his lawyers had conversations with prosecutors yesterday and today to try to understand a little bit more about what evidence they had. That is a normal course of conversation. But I don't think he would have seen the affidavit, which lays out all of the probable cause, and I don't think that it is merely based on a home equity line of credit that may or may not had been used to make a payment to Stormy Daniels.
There's no requirement in a home equity line of credit that you used the money for something in particular. And if it's not dirty money that the line of credit is, then it's not money laundering to give it to Stormy Daniels. So I do not think that is the basis for the warrant. I think there is something much more serious that is -- that gives the prosecutors reason to take this somewhat extraordinary action and search a lawyer's office.
LEMON: John, I have to go. Do you agree with that?
FLANNERY: Well, I do in part, I think it's true we can know from the affidavit, but the question is, what statement did he make that may be false? We don't know what he said. And we're presuming that he didn't say anything about equity or what he was going to do or anything like that and why he chose to do that and perhaps put himself in the trick bag, remains to be seen when we see the affidavit.
LEMON: All right. Thank you gentlemen, I appreciate it.
GOLDMAN: Thank you.
FLANNERY: Thank you.
LEMON: When we come back, the raid on Michael Cohen has the President angrier than ever before and people within the White House are worried about what he is going to do next.
[23:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Breaking news into CNN. And this is just coming in from a White House official says President Trump, his team is reevaluating an interview with Robert Mueller's team in light of the Cohen raid. This is from CNN's Jim Acosta, a White House official says the President and his legal team are reevaluating whether Trump should sit down for an interview with Mueller's team in light of the raid.
Aimed at the President personal attorney, Michael Cohen, the president has made no decision regarding the interview, but anybody with common sense will see the attack on his lawyer as cause to reevaluate the officials said. The official insist to the president's cooperation should be proportional to the courtesy he receives from the Special Counsel, the raid 2on Cohen's office is viewed as not showing the President that courtesy.
So let's bring in now CNN Political Commentator, David Swerdlick, assistant editor at "The Washington Post," Political Analyst, Michael Bender, who was White House reporter for "The Wall Street Journal" and National Security Analyst, Juliette Kayyem, a former official at the Department of Homeland and Security. Good evening, to all of you, thank you so much. What do you think of this -- Michael, you first, in this new reporting?
MICHAEL BENDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think there's been arranged of opinions within the Trump camp for quite a while now on what to do about potential interview with Mueller. And it doesn't surprise me that someone on the team are using the raid now to push forward a message that they may not go forward with an interview with Mueller.
It does sound a lot like Trump. He would view this raid as discourteous and disrespectful and want to show -- reply in kind, which would be not to interview. I would caution, though, as you said, there's no decision has been made. And I wonder how long Trump can -- I would imagine as part of Trump base is eager to talk to Mueller and would want to set the record straight right across the table from him.
LEMON: Well, Juliette, even with that, I mean, would he be compelled to speak with Mueller whether he wants to or not?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: I think the jury is out, I think Mueller would prefer that it not be the case and it sounds like that is what they were hoping for this reporting tonight, that this would be a voluntary discussion and the contours of the discussion would be formed over time, and I think the challenge right now is the challenge all of us have which is, which Trump White House is speaking not to undermine the reporting, but clearly, people who don't want him to speak to Mueller have the upper hand right now, because of what happened yesterday in Michael Cohen's office.
LEMON: Again, the breaking news just into CNN is that a White House official was telling CNN Jim's Acosta, that President Trump's team is reevaluating an interview meeting with the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, in light of the raid on his personal attorney's office and home yesterday.
David, a source tells CNN, that the news of the Cohen raid has angered the president beyond anything they have ever seen before. Do you think this is a real tipping point? DAVID SWERDLICK, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, it could be, Don.
And reaction to this news, I have two thoughts. One is, is that it sort of sounds like the President in other context, where if someone does something that he doesn't like, he wants to ratchet it up. China says, oh we are going to answer your $50 billion in tariffs with $50 billion of our own, then he answers it with a $100 billion and so it goes.
Similarly here, oh, you raid my attorney's office, maybe now I'm going to float the idea. If this reporting is -- as Juliette said, coming directly from the president himself, then I raise you by saying maybe I won't talk to Bob Mueller after all.
But the challenge, the political problem for President Trump here is that as Bob Bennett (ph) said in one of earlier segment segments, this is not how an innocent person acts when they're comfortable and want to clear their name. If he had no worries about what the results of this investigation, the special counsel's investigation were, then it would behoove the president just to wait, talk to them, answer the questions.
But because there's so much potential jeopardy -- we don't know if the president has done anything that ran afoul of the law, but because there's so much jeopardy in terms of his story not matching up with other people that the special counsel has interviewed, I think he's got this problem of wanting to come clean and at the same time not wanting to trip himself up.
LEMON: Michael, also, you know, we have seen so much from the president in recent days of him wanting to take matters into his own hands. Reports that he's not really paying attention to his advisers and saying he's going to start doing what he wants to do, more of what he wants to do.
Hope Hicks is gone, always kept him calm. Keith Schiller is gone, also his bagman gone. Who can keep the president calm now?
MICHAEL BENDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think you sort of alluded to it there, Don. I think the president has always pretty much done what he wanted to do. But you raised a good point here on where the sort of checks and balances are even within his own office. And I think right now we're at a real transition point in this White House.
You mentioned Hope Hicks. Keith Schiller has been gone a while. Rob Porter, the staff secretary who was dealing with some pretty serious personal issues right now, that is a position that hasn't been replaced. Tom Bossert, the homeland security adviser who left today, he was well-liked in the White House. He was organized. He was -- people described him as a perfectionist. There's no replacement for him.
Meanwhile, the position that John Kelly has filled is a deputy chief of staff for policy coordination, Chris Liddell, who's in charge of the Office of American Innovation. This is a position that has never really existed formally in the Trump White House. So, I just wonder if we are at a point here where Kelly is maybe restructuring the White House here slowly but surely. It will be interesting to see where his next move is to fill some of the empty spots in this White House.
LEMON: But there are reports though that chief of staff, John Kelly's authority is diminished. I mean, he hasn't been included in important conversations and decisions and executing recent staffing changes. I mean, he was considered one of the few, the so-called adults in the room. Does that make it even more likely that the president could make a rash decision? David, I'll give that to you.
SWERDLICK: Look, I think General Kelly has in part undermined himself. There was the episode with Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. There was the issue with Rob Porter where, you know, he was not found to be fully forthcoming by a lot of reports. And that undermined his credibility publicly inside the White House.
I think the pattern is set whether General Kelly or others that President Trump has a hard time in all circumstances taking the counsel even of the adults in the room.
SWERDLICK: He's on his second secretary of state, second press secretary, second chief of staff. So, I don't know why General Kelly would feel secure that he could just go forward and lead the team without being undercut.
LEMON: And Juliette, his national security counsel reportedly rattled by Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert being pushed out by John Bolton. So you have that aspect of it as well.
KAYYEM: Yes. Tom Bossert was well respected. He made some mistakes times is in the media. But as far as the agencies went, Tom was a really important figure, and that I think is really important to note here. All of these people are being paid by us, right? And there's so much drama. But we forget their actual job is to guide the agencies that are doing the real work.
I worked in federal government twice, once at Department of Justice, once at Department of Homeland Security. Never worked in the White House. You look to the White House to give guidance when there was debates between agencies to sort of, you know, be the honest broker, set communication plans, to help you elevate an issue, if you had an issue that have to be elevated.
None of that is being done. So what we focus on the White House -- think of all these agencies and people within the agencies who are used to and actually do deserve a functioning White House.
[23:35:03] But it's always about Trump, always ends up being about Trump.
LEMON: Thank you all very much. I appreciate it.
SWERDLICK: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: When we come back, how did the president's meeting with top military and security staffers turn into an attack on Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: The president making it absolutely clear, he's furious about the FBI raid on his attorney, Michael Cohen. But that's not all he is angry about. He still can't get past his anger at -- you guessed it, Hillary Clinton.
I want to talk about this now with CNN political Commentators, Keith Boykin, Alice Stewart, and Tara Setmayer.
So, the president can't get over his anger with the co-president of the United States which is Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: Sara, he was meeting with top military leaders about Syria. And then he started talking about his attorney general. And then Hillary Clinton. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: They're not looking at the Hillary Clinton -- horrible things that she did and all of the crimes that were committed. They're not looking at all of the things that happened.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Why does it always go back to Hillary Clinton?
TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because she's his foil.
[23:40:00] Because -- why not? She's the foe. She's the boogeyman. She -- you know how many Republicans tell me that they weren't thrilled about voting for Donald Trump but they could never fathom Hillary Clinton being in the White House?
SETMAYER: That is what fueled the majority of people who voted for Donald Trump. Besides, there always going to be the 30 percent, 25, 30 percent that were just diehard. But a lot of those other Republicans that had trepidation about who Donald Trump was and the fact that he, you know, was problematic in a lot of ways, said I did it because I can't stand Hillary Clinton.
So, he continues to do this. And also let's not forget, there's an entire network, another network that dedicates three hours a night to going after freaking Hillary Clinton, like as if she is president. It's insane. I've never seen anything like this before.
(LAUGHTER) SETMAYER: I mean, you would think that Hillary Clinton was the president.
LEMON: I -- I -- sometimes I wonder when I -- when I'm on the Trump channel when I pass through.
SETMAYER: I'm not saying that she doesn't warrant criticism. She's done plenty of things and they probably should have prosecuted her and the Clinton Foundation on some stuff, but she didn't win.
SETMAYER: Donald Trump is here now.
ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Tara makes a great point. I was going to mention that. While I was at the gym tonight, I happened to glance up and see one of the other networks. And like she said, they're still talking about Hillary Clinton and that's because this is what the White House would rather be talking about.
This is what many of the strong conservatives that are strong Trump supporters would rather be talking about than what we have here. And here's the problem, you can sit there and distract and deflect to someone who didn't win the presidency all you want, but that's not going to take away from the problems that are standing right in front of him.
STEWART: And one of the key points he has also mentioned and others in the White House have mentioned is to continue to denigrate this process, the Mueller process. And as he is saying, this is a witch hunt.
And he is saying the raid on Michael Cohen was an attack on our country and criticizing the fact that the attorney-client privilege wasn't afforded to him. And attacking that some members of the Clinton team were afforded the attorney-client privilege.
Here's the thing, due process and attorney-client privilege is a great thing, according to the president, if it applies to him. But if it's a critic or a political adversary, he doesn't think it should happen. He thinks it is political correctness.
And here's the thing, the rules should apply across the board whether you're Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. And everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
LEMON: OK. But in other Hillary Clinton news because the guy who wants to be the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, called Hillary Clinton, right, and asked for her advice.
And remember, CIA Director Mike Pompeo called Hillary Clinton's response to the 2012 Benghazi attack morally reprehensible, aggressively questioned her in one of the seven hearings over how that attack was handled. What is going on here? KEITH BOYKIN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: My favorite word about the Trump administration is hypocrisy. This is a classic case of that right now. What is going on is that -- it is actually a smart move in part of Pompeo, to 2Hillary Clinton. She is a very talented person.
Michelle Obama said just a few days ago, she's probably the most qualified person to ever run for presidency in the history of our country. And so, yes, he would want to reach out to her and to reach out to other secretary of states as he is doing.
But the hypocrisy is stunning because he spent all of his time attacking her, attacking her leadership role as secretary of state, attacking her about Benghazi as though she was personally responsible.
They thought that she was -- not only do the Trump and Republican Party and Fox News think that Hillary Clinton is president now, but they thought she was president even when Obama was president.
BOYKIN: They went after her for Benghazi more than they went after Barack Obama for Benghazi.
LEMON: Benghazi. But they went after Barack Obama a lot.
BOYKIN: On that issue of Benghazi, they thought that she was personally responsible for sending in troops. She's the secretary of state, not the secretary of defense or the president of the United States. It was preposterous assumption from the beginning, but she sat through an 11-hour hearing on Benghazi.
LEMON: So how do you think that -- how do you think that phone call went?
SETMAYER: Well, you know, the interesting thing about this when I heard this, I thought to myself, that deserves the audacity of the year award --
SETMAYER: -- for Mike Pompeo, especially as critical as he was. She warranted the scrutiny. I'm not going to re-litigate Benghazi, but the scrutiny was warranted. But anyway, but the fact that he would even -- look, under normal circumstances, there would be nothing wrong with that.
In other administration, you would go to your predecessors and get advice. Even presidents did that. That would be normal. Except for the fact that this administration, Donald Trump has rallies where his supporters are yelling lock her up, for goodness sake. But yet now, she is all of a sudden she's OK to give advice to the incoming secretary of state. Clearly Pompeo didn't clear that with Trump before then.
LEMON: There you go. If I got that phone call, I would say, you remember, let me talk to my big brother, remember that?
[23:45:02] LEMON: That's the dial tone.
STEWART: I think it was very --
LEMON: I got to go, Alice.
STEWART: I think it was good if she takes the call not for help and catch up to him for coming up with the idea.
LEMON: That is a you know what please answer.
BOYKIN: What? Right.
LEMON: (INAUDIBLE). Thank you all. When we come back, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg testifying on Capitol Hill today, but did he pretty much get a pass from senators and will anything change to protect Americans' privacy going forward?
LEMON: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took his apology tour to Capitol Hill today where he filled the questions about Facebook's operation and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. That data firm with ties to Donald Trump's campaign obtained personal information on as many as 87 million Facebook users without their knowledge. Zuckerberg apologizing to senators.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO, FACEBOOK: We didn't take a broad enough view of our responsibility and that was a big mistake. And it was my mistake. And I'm sorry. I started Facebook, I run it, and I'm responsible for what happens here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So let's talk about this now with Dylan Byers, CNN senior reporter for media and politics, and Mark Jacobson, associate teaching professor at Georgetown University.
Gentlemen, good evening.
[23:50:00] Thank you for coming on. Dylan, you first. Let's play a key moment. This is when Senator Dick Durbin asked Zuckerberg about his own visit to Washington.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?
DURBIN: If you've messaged anybody this week, would you share with us the names of the people you've messaged?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, no. I would probably not choose to do that publicly here.
DURBIN: I think that might be what this is all about. Your right to privacy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, Dylan, he wouldn't want his own privacy violated. But isn't sharing other's personal information on Facebook, that's how they make their money.
DYLAN BYERS, CNN SENIOR REPORTER FOR MEDIA AND POLITICS: Well, yes and no. Absolutely, Facebook makes its money off of user data, all of that information that we have been giving up to Facebook for over a decade now. That's why Facebook brought in $40 billion in revenue last year alone.
The problem with Durbin's line of inquiry there is, it's clever, but it doesn't really get to the heart of the problem nor does it put Facebook on the hook for anything.
BYERS: Facebook's problem is not that it goes in and looks specifically at which hotel you're staying at or the specific messages you sent to friends in recent days. The problem here is that it's taking troves of data and giving that to third parties who can then hand it over to others outside of Facebook's watch.
So, you know, for me that line of questioning, it's clever, it scores a political point, it makes the highlight real, but it gets to a larger problem that senators face today, which is sort of the inability to really get at the heart of the big issues that face Facebook.
LEMON: Yes, inability to understand. I thought it was a little too cute by half. I didn't know where he was going with that. It's not like, you don't have to share your hotel or where you're staying.
But if you go on Facebook, right, that's part of what you sign up for, sharing all that information, but maybe not giving it to Cambridge Analytica certainly for sure.
Not every senator who asked questions today is a part of the Facebook generation. I want you to take a listen to this. This is for Mark.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: How do you sustain a business model in which users don't pay for your service?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, we run ads.
SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R), LOUISIANA: Are you willing to give me more control over my data?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, as someone who uses Facebook, I believe that you should have complete control over your data.
KENNEDY: OK. Are you willing to go back and work on giving me a greater right to erase my data?
ZUCKERBERG: Senator, you can already delete any of the data that's there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So again, it's similar to what I asked Dylan. They kind of got their point across, but their lack of savvy when it comes to tech, I mean, don't you think it sort of kept them away from asking Zuckerberg the tougher questions and more meaningful questions?
MARK JACOBSON, ASSOCIATE TEACHING PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Look, one of the things that struck me was the number of Republicans who are kind of pushing for regulation, seemed to be against the idea of the market driving a few things. But I think there's an important point in that questioning too. To what degree the consumers have to be responsible or users of Facebook have to understand, when you sign up for this free service --
JACOBSON: The price is your data that's going out there. When you pull an app down, that you want to play a game on, you are giving up -- you don't read the terms of service, right? You just click yes. And that's part of our responsibility. If you don't want to be part of that, don't do it.
I agree there are some areas where Facebook can really improve the way it handles its terms of service, much in the same way that the Senate forced the credit card companies to make their terms of service a bit clearer. But this is not going to be solved by regulation. I think the hearings really missed the bigger issues.
LEMON: You just read my mind because it used to be no one reads the small print. But do people read the terms of service before they sign up for these services?
JACOBSON: There was a great exchange during the hearings where a senator asked Zuckerberg, could you remake the terms of service? Could you make them easier? I think that's something smart folks out of Facebook and Silicon Valley can do. I think they can find innovative ways to let consumers know exactly what they're giving up in terms of control.
And I actually don't believe Zuckerberg is using that term control the way we as consumers see it because he gets a lot of control over that data once we initially provide it and it is pretty hard to get it back.
LEMON: So --
BYERS: Don, I should just add that is something that Facebook is going to have to do in Europe starting next month because new regulations that are being introduced there and something that Zuckerberg said today and actually said in the past, is that he is open to meeting those standards that will be applied in Europe on a global scale.
And it goes to issues like that. Clearer terms of service, a clearer understanding for users about how their data is being shared. I think one of the big questions that was asked today or one of questions that should have been asked, why wasn't that made clearer to users before?
[23:54:55] And does Facebook honestly believe that it was giving us a true understanding of just how vast their data monitoring was, of just how much data they were collecting on us and what they were doing with it?
LEMON: And Mark, in the short time we have left, it's important to point out that in the testimony, Zuckerberg revealed that employees of his company are working with Robert Mueller, special counsel, investigation. How significant is that?
JACOBSON: I think it's very significant. This is what I think the bigger problem is. I want to know what happened with the data when it left Facebook and went to Cambridge Analytica. This is really the heart of the matter of the Russian influence operations. I want to know if any of that information got to the Russians and if they used it to target voters.
LEMON:m All right. Dylan and Mark, thank you so much. I appreciate your time.
BYERS: Thanks, Don.
JACOBSON: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: That's it for us tonight. Thanks for watching. I will see you right back here tomorrow.
[24:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)