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CNN TONIGHT

DHS Secretary Almost Near the Exit Door; White House Aide Follows POTUS' Example; Mike Pence Calls for an End to the Mueller Investigation; Michael Cohen Bags a Lot of Money; POTUS Meeting Kim Jong-Un In Singapore In June; White Student At Yale Calls Police On Black Student Sleeping in a Common Room of a Dorm While Studying. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired May 10, 2018 - 22:00   ET

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


[22:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: Thanks for watching 360. Time to hand it over to Don Lemon. "CNN TONIGHT" starts now.

DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.

And we've got multiple breaking news stories. Again, for you. President Trump back in his happy place tonight in front of a crowd of adoring supporters at a campaign-style rally in Indiana.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will never give in. We will never, ever give up. And we will never stop fighting for our country, our freedom, and our flag.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: That in the wake of the latest examples of a White House that seems to be not just in turmoil, but just plain mean.

Here's what our source is telling CNN. That President Trump blew up at his own homeland security secretary during a cabinet meeting yesterday. The president reportedly absolutely furious with Kirstjen Nielsen, telling her he didn't think she was doing enough to secure the border.

"The New York Times" is reporting that Nielsen told colleagues she was close to resigning after the blow-up. A spokesman for the secretary denied that in a tweet.

And speaking of mean, this just might be a new low. A White House official is telling CNN that an aide responded to Senator John McCain's opposition to President Trump's pick for CIA director by saying this morning, quote, "he's dying anyway." A so-called joke that the official had to admit fell flat.

A source tells CNN the aide called the senator's daughter Meghan McCain to apologize. Cindy McCain taking the high road tweeting tonight, "May I remind you my husband has a family, seven children and five grandchildren."

And then there's the latest news on President Trump's fixer, Michael Cohen and how he raked in big bucks pitching his access to the president to potential clients.

Rudy Giuliani, the president's newest attorney telling CNN Trump wasn't aware of what Cohen was up to. He also defended that $130,000 hush payment to a porn star, to Stormy Daniels, suggesting, it's common for lawyers to make secret payments to people to keep them quiet.

His now former law firm, he resigned today. Disagrees, saying, quote, "We would not condone payments of the nature alleged to have been made or otherwise without the knowledge and direction of a client." Contradicting him.

And just a while ago, Giuliani told CNN this, quote, "The law firm has a lot of good people and a lot of people that hate my client, and I don't particularly appreciate that."

All this as Vice President Mike Pence today, I want you to pay close attention to this, called for an end to the Mueller investigation. Listen to what he told NBC.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE PENCE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's been about a year since this investigation began. Our administration has provided over a million documents. We fully cooperated in it. And in the interest of the country, I think it's time to wrap it up. And I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: OK, I'm glad you pay close attention to that because this is what our -- this is why. If the words sound familiar, you're right. Roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD NIXON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As you know, I have provided to the special prosecutor voluntarily a great deal of material. I believe that I have provided all the material that he needs to conclude his investigations and to proceed to prosecute the guilty and to clear the innocent.

I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. One year of Watergate is enough.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: Maybe not something you really want to remind people of under the circumstances. History is not just rhyming there. It seems to be repeating itself.

So let's bring in now White House Reporter, Sarah Westwood, CNN Political Analyst, Ryan Lizza, and Chris Whipple, author of "The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency."

Good evening to everyone. Ryan, hello. That was very familiar. Almost the same words, right? Very similar sentiment. So CNN is reporting tonight -- let's talk about the homeland security secretary -- that he blew up, the president blew up at his Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over immigration telling that she wasn't doing enough to secure the border.

And "The New York Times" is reporting that Nielsen drafted a resignation letter. What do you think is going on here? Of course they are denying it, but what do you think is going on?

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that Donald Trump is obsessed with this issue of immigration. He is running into the normal constraints that any president has in running the federal government.

[22:04:58] As Mr. Whipple can tell us -- he outlines a lot of this in his great book about chiefs of staff. And he thinks that the head of DHS should be able to push a button and change immigration policy in the way that Donald Trump talked about during the campaign.

And everybody, you know, sort of disturbing about this report is just how unhinged he seems in this conversation, just sort of yelling at this woman. And I don't think he understands the sort of subtleties of how the president interacts with his cabinet, 11 even 18 months or whatever we are now into this presidency, Trump does not understand -- he doesn't understand how to be president, Don. He doesn't understand how to move the levers of power.

I think that is one of the most surprising things about this presidency, is there's been no -- he really hasn't learned the job. He has more confidence in the job, but he hasn't figured it out yet. And, you know, I know we have a lot of stories to get to and the theme of all of them is that things continue to become more and more chaotic in this White House.

LEMON: Yes.

LIZZA: You know, Melania Trump's launched this 'Be Best' campaign recently. I think at this point we would all settle for be better.

LEMON: Yes. Yes. Well, I mean, wasn't that - that was the former first lady, was be better just before this one.

But let's discuss that because, Chris, "The Washington Post" is out with the new reporting about the blow up. And here's just a description. They said, "The blow-up lasted more than 30 minutes, according to a person with knowledge of what transpired, as Trump's face reddened and he raised his voice saying Nielsen needed to close down the border." End quotes, close down the border. "Trump's tirade went on for so long that many present began fidgeting

in their seats and flashing grimaces, the White House aide said. Eventually the topic moved on to health care bringing relief to many in the room."

So reportedly Jeff Sessions came to her defense. CNN is reporting as well as "The Washington Post" that she tried to stand her ground. But what is the recourse when the president of the United States is doing something like this, or yelling? Do you just take it?

CHRIS WHIPPLE, AUTHOR, THE GATEKEEPERS: Well, you know, I couldn't agree more that Donald Trump has learned nothing in his first year and three months of being president. But this is also, you know, not at all surprising.

Donald Trump is who he is. He loves ritual humiliation. He did it to Reince Priebus. He did it to Rudy Giuliani during the campaign. And for all we know, continues to do it behind closed doors.

LEMON: Apparently he did it to John Kelly. John Kelly said he had never been spoken like that-

WHIPPLE: Yes.

LEMON: -- spoken to like that in 30 years.

WHIPPLE: Yes, exactly. So this is the price of admission. If you're going to work for Donald Trump at this level, this is the price of admission. It goes with the territory. And, quite frankly, they knew what they signed up for.

And you have to be able to take that humiliation and, you know, the larger problem is that everybody within the orbit of this death star known as Donald Trump gets sucked in and gets tarnished and often destroyed with very few exceptions.

LEMON: Sarah, to you now. There is also this reporting that the White House aide Kelly Sadler responded to Senator McCain's opposition to Trump's pick for CIA director by saying, quote, "he's dying anyway." Apparently it was a joke. It was meant to be a joke. There's nothing funny about. I don't know how anybody would think that would be funny. But it's just another example of the overall meanness in this White House.

SARAH WESTWOOD, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Absolutely. I mean, the tone is set at the top. President Trump himself has gone after John McCain in a lot of inappropriate and offensive ways. At least a lot of people have interpreted Trump's comments on McCain that way.

Certainly the best that any aide could do in defending Kelly Sadler was telling our Jim Acosta that it was a joke that fell flat in the room. There are other White House aides who are wondering tonight if potentially Kelly Sadler will last in the White House. She's called Meghan McCain to apologize, but certainly this is a completely unforced error for the White House, distracting from all the other things they are trying to accomplish right now on the foreign policy front.

They are already trying to deal with these controversies involving Michael Cohen and Michael Cohen cashing out on his influence, his proximity to Trump. That's something the White House didn't plan to be dealing with right now, to have someone who is relatively low level generating such negative headlines for Trump right now is just the last thing I think the White House is prepared to deal with.

LEMON: Sarah, you're moving ahead in the textbook here, but we'll get to that in a moment. But I want to get -- I want to stick with this, because, Ryan, they had to put out a statement to clean this -- to clean this mess up saying that they respect McCain's service and that they're praying for him. But how much of this is environment? And where is it OK and when is it OK -- why would it be OK to say something like this? I don't know, does that come from the president?

LIZZA: Well, never. And Sarah made the essential point that--

(CROSSTALK)

[22:09:57] LEMON: Remember when he said -- I'll ask you, because he said I like those who are not captured. That's sort of in that vein, right? Go on, I'm sorry.

LIZZA: Never apologize. But I think Sarah made the essential point that the tone is set from the top. I noticed a lot of people calling for Trump to fire this aide who works on the communications shop. She's not the most senior person at the White House.

And I thought, well, what grounds would Donald Trump have for firing her? How could Donald Trump credibly say, well, this is beyond the pale, this is just not appropriate for someone at the White House?

He has taken -- he has mocked the disabled. He has mocked a gold star family. As you pointed out, Don, he has previously belittled John McCain's heroic service. And so when that is the president's record, I think if you work at the White House, you might think, well, why would I get in trouble for saying this? Why wouldn't other Republicans on this call think it's funny? The president does this kind of thing all the time.

So, you know, I think -- you now, Chris made the point that people that go and work for Donald Trump, they become corrupted by him. And I think there is a lot to that. When you go and work for someone with these views and a history of these statements, it trickles down to even low and mid-level staffers.

LEMON: I want to get to Chris quickly to what happened and what I played at the top of the show, which is the vice president, you know, recently I think it was yesterday.

WHIPPLE: Yes.

LEMON: And then Nixon back in 1974 saying, we've given millions of documents. President said the same thing we give millions of documents. This should be over, it's been a year. And let me remind you, I think Benghazi congressional Senate Benghazi

lasted two and a half years.

WHIPPLE: Yes.

LEMON: It cost more than $7 million, and they found nothing and no one was indicted.

WHIPPLE: Yes.

LEMON: And Watergate lasted from June of '72, Nixon resigned in 1974, which was two years and a month.

WHIPPLE: Yes. You know, it's not going to go the way Trump wants it to go. It's going to go according to Robert Mueller's timetable and no one else's. You know, barring some sort of constitutional crisis in which he tries to have a Saturday night massacre.

But, you know, it's so Nixonian, so reminiscent of Watergate that the language and everything else, it's just uncanny. And obviously the walls are closing in. It's like with Michael Cohen, it's almost like a bad spy novel at this point, you know.

I was talking to my friend Gary Kasparov, who is the, of course the Vladimir Putin critic. And he was saying, you know, I believe in coincidences, when he was talking about all the meetings with the Russians, but I also believe in the KGB. And you just have to wonder, there is so much smoke.

LEMON: You just keep hearing from all the players that you mention. Well, there's nothing here, there's nothing here. Why do they know that, where's the evidence and whatever? And then the evidence comes out.

WHIPPLE: Yes.

LEMON: So why should I believe you? Why should we believe you?

WHIPPLE: Yes.

LEMON: Thank you all. Thank you, Sarah. Thanks, Chris. Thanks, Ryan. I appreciate it.

When we come back, it turns out Michael Cohen made a lot more money than we thought from one of the companies paying for insight into the Trump administration. A lot more. So, what exactly did they buy? What were they buying?

[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: So, we are learning more tonight that AT&T paid more, about three times as much to Michael Cohen than we original thought. A whopping $600,000 for virtually all of last year. So, what did they really get for all that money? What were they getting?

CNN Senior Media Correspondent is Mr. Brian Stelter and he is here with more. So, Brian, there's been this drip, drip, drip of information of story first broke.

BRIAN STELTER, CNN SENIOR MEDIA CORRESPONDENT: Yes.

LEMON: First it was $200,000 for insights about the new administration. Now it's three times as much money. What's going on here?

STELTER: Yes. Michael Avenatti didn't know how much he was really onto. His information two days ago was $200,000 for four months. Now we know it was $600,000 for a full year of work. AT&T saying it won't really go into detail about what exactly Cohen was doing, but according to documents obtained by "The Washington Post", he was giving advice and information about Trump's mind-set, his thinking, and about the government's position about anti-trust, net neutrality.

Anti-trust is interesting because AT&T has been trying to buy this channel's parent company Time Warner. Right now it is being blocked in court with an anti-trust suit by the DOJ. A judge is thinking about what to do, he's about to rule, he's ruling in about a month. So we'll see if this deal is allow to go forward.

But apparently Cohen was giving advice and guidance about that deal, that huge deal that's going to reshape the media world. The question, of course, Don, is wait a second. Michael Cohen is a real estate guy. He's a fixer for Donald Trump. What in the heck does he know about telecom law?

LEMON: All right. Then what do they think they were getting for $600,000?

STELTER: Remains the question, I think what we're seeing here, what's on display in all of its ugly glory is how the swamp works. How the so-called swamp that President Trump railed against really works.

There have been lobbying firms, law firms and other groups working in Washington for decades that provide these kinds of services. The difference now, of course, is it's the president's personal attorney whose advisors are offering himself up, who's selling himself to the highest bidder.

So what we know is that AT&T says, hey, this is just about insights. It was innocent. There is no indication any laws were broken, but, Don, this looks gross. And I think even the executives at AT&T know that.

LEMON: AT&T is now confirming that to CNN. AT&T hired Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to advise the telecom giant of its purchase of Time Warner among other issues the company confirmed on Thursday. Cohen was also hired to advise the company on Federal Communications Commission, regulation and tax reform and AT&T spokesperson told CNN. So there you go.

STELTER: Now that in and of itself, like I said, not illegal, but it's unseemly. It shows how sleazy Washington sometimes works.

LEMON: The swamp. STELTER: Yes.

LEMON: Thank you, Brian.

STELTER: Thanks.

LEMON: Much appreciated. So I want to bring in now CNN Contributor, John Dean, a former Nixon White House counsel, also CNN Legal Analyst, Laura Coates. Good evening to both of you.

So, where do we start? Why don't we start with CNN and AT&T. CNN is reporting that AT&T hired Cohen for help on the company's proposed merger with Time Warner, CNN parent company.

[22:20:01] So, Novartis explained it hired Cohen for help with U.S. healthcare policy matters, but what about Columbus Nova? That was a firm with ties to the Russian oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg. What could they be after, John?

JOHN DEAN, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it's very mysterious, although there are different explanations that Michael didn't seem to be able to get his story straight as to what his services were really all about. We don't have all the facts, but it certainly, as Brian said, it doesn't smell good and it doesn't look pretty and it certainly suggests some kind of shake down. How this will all turn out, I don't know at this point. But it's ugly.

LEMON: Yes. What do you think about this, Laura?

LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: Well, you know, we really are seeing the under belly of what it means to pay for play in Washington, D.C., and while most people think to themselves, there's got to be laws against this concept of being able to have paid access to decision makers, to elected officials, to policy makers, what we're finding is there is a very, very thick line between pay for play and apparently bribery.

And although the two can somehow merge in the future in some criminal activity, we're finding there's really a lot of tolerance for this sort of behavior.

The most interesting thing about the issue with the Russian oligarch is he was one of the two men that was stopped when he came onto American soil in the form of an airplane in New York City. And Mueller's team investigated him, questioned him, had his phones looked at, electronic surveillance information gathered and that sort of thing.

So what does that tell you about this is the one person who was also linked, also somebody who himself was on the list of sanctioned individuals for what? Election interference. And now we're finding out that after the election has taken place, he is also paying the services of Michael Cohen who has not been known to be a champion in this particular area. What you're seeing here perhaps may mean that line between pay for play and bribery and corruption may be getting thinner and thinner. LEMON: What's the legal jeopardy here? Is it the legal jeopardy for

Michael Cohen here?

COATES: Well, technically from what we know right now, if it's a matter of a consultant or acting as a lobbyist and a lobbyist function who has failed to register as a lobbyist, which is a problem, or somebody who has not just simply been selling access, but may be doing a quid pro quo sort of bribery or corruption-based thing as Michael Cohen. We don't have enough information yet about what Donald Trump may be having, although he is the man who they seek to access.

LEMON: OK. John, White House spokesman Raj Shah is responding to reports that Cohen was selling access to the president. He is what he is telling the reporters tonight. He said the president makes up his own mind about policy matters. He is not influenced by the kinds of things that they are referencing.

And the president's new attorney Rudy Giuliani is telling CNN Trump wasn't aware that Cohen was profiting off of his ties to the White House. Do you think that that defense will hold up?

DEAN: Well, they certainly are trying to distance themselves from Michael Cohen at this point.

LEMON: They are.

DEAN: And they are doing it as quickly as possible. Again, we just have a few facts. We only have one -- the bank accounts that Michael Cohen had and that was for his essential consultant shell company. He had other bank accounts. We don't know what else he -- I would think we're going to hear more about him actually collecting more than we've heard so far.

LEMON: So what if Giuliani, John, is wrong and the president did know about Cohen's promises, what kind of trouble could he be in?

DEAN: Well, you know, it could be extortion on one side or bribery on the other if this is a shake down and Michael Cohen was charged with doing it. There are all kinds of ugly potentials that you could ravel this into. Or just a bribery case. I just don't know, Don. It' it's hard to tell with the facts we have.

LEMON: So Laura, President Trump and his team they appear, as John said, they're distancing themselves from Michael Cohen. But in the initial aftermath of the Cohen raid, I mean, Trump was very publicly angry, calling the raid disgraceful.

COATES: Right.

LEMON: Disgraceful situation, remember he said they broke into my lawyer's office. What does that say to you?

COATES: Well, it shows you that there's glass houses and rocks being thrown, or perhaps it's the pot calling the kettle black. Whatever analogy you want to use to indicate that the flip-flopping undermines their credibility, it undermines their ability to say that we have a firm position that's consistent, that allows anybody looking at this case to judge what their behavior was.

It's one thing to find out information later on that changes your opinion. But if you have the information all along which is part of the concern people have about whether the president of the United States was aware of payments that were being made, whether the president of the United States was aware of there being access for his -- for sale for his own access, it is about that sort of lack of credibility on other matters, including Stormy Daniels, that raises eyebrows to say, well, it's hard for people to say you had an epiphany as opposed to you're trying to simply cover something up.

[22:24:53] And I just want to say one thing about the idea of the bribery case, et cetera. The Supreme Court has made it particularly difficult for prosecutors to be able to prosecute crimes for true quid pro quo and the bribery that John and I are describing.

Remember there was the Virginia former governor, Bob McDonald who had an issue about something very similar where he was being accused of engaging in bribery as opposed to simple lobbying on behalf of a natural supplement provider. And the court there said, listen, if it is not an official act, if you're just paying for access, this happens in Washington, D.C. all the time.

No politician would be on notice that's actually wrongdoing if we now choose to criminalize it. So you have Michael Cohen ironically going to potentially benefit from a Supreme Court decision that limits and narrows a definition that we do not want a swamp in Washington, D.C.

LEMON: Yes. Well, it exposes a system, more of the system to the American people because it's very swampy to use their terminology.

Thank you very much. I appreciate both of you.

When we come back, what does President Trump say to a group of Americans, what does he say to a group of Americans just returning home after being detained in North Korea? He praises Kim Jong-un for being, in his words, really excellent.

Tonight the White House is defending those remarks. Fareed Zakaria is going to weigh in next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: President Trump announcing today that he will meet with North Korea's Kim Jong-un on June 12 in Singapore. He hinted about the summit tonight at his rally in Indiana, but in classic Trump fashion, he took a swipe. Guess at who? The media.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

[22:29:56] TRUMP: You remember everybody in the fake news when they were saying, he's going to get us into a nuclear war. And you know what gets you into nuclear wars? And you know what gets you into other wars? Weakness. Weakness. And hopefully, I mean, for all of us, and for the world, hopefully something very good is going to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, I want to talk about all of this, and a lot more with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, host of "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS" on CNN, of course. So you heard the President...

FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST: Somebody by the way who never said we were going to go to war because I always thought the whole idea that Kim Jong-un was some crazy mad man was not true, that Kim Jong-un is a rational calculating guy who was building up his nuclear weapons to ensure the survival of his regime. People like that don't go commit harakiri by using nuclear weapons.

LEMON: So, I want to talk about that. And then let's stick to that, and then we'll talk about securing -- about getting the hostages home. So, you know, he's taking all the credit. Doesn't the Chinese President have a lot to do with it? Aren't there people in the region...

ZAKARIA: The South Korean President has a lot of credit that he deserves, china deserves credit for pressure. Trump does deserve credit. I don't want to take it away. But it is important to point out that the dynamic right now is that Donald Trump has made the concession.

The American President has refused to meet with the North Korean President for 30 years. The North Koreans have at various points wanted the summit. It's the Americans who always said, you're a rogue state, you're a rogue regime.

You're building nuclear weapons. You're supporting terrorism. You do all this stuff. You have to take concrete steps before we reward you with a presidential meeting. Now, it may be the right thing to do. It may be a risk worth taking. It may be a concession worth making.

LEMON: Right.

ZAKARIA: And, you know, it's all fine for Trump to do that. It's a little bizarre to present his concession as some kind of great victory. I mean, he's agreed to North Korean terms. They made very modest adjustments in their policy and rhetoric.

LEMON: I agree with you. I think it may be a good thing to do. And when previous presidents tried to do it, at least Democratic presidents, the right said, why are you going to talk to -- you know, he's...

ZAKARIA: Well, imagine if Obama had wanted to, you know, have a summit with Rouhani...

LEMON: He was criticized about that.

ZAKARIA: Exactly. And you know -- but I think, again, let's hope it works. Let's hope...

(CROSSTALK)

ZAKARIA: I think if Trump meets him, the one thing to keep in mind is, the bar is very high.

LEMON: Right.

ZAKARIA: Because Donald Trump has just torn up the most intrusive verification agreement on nuclear energy that anyone has ever constructed. So, he's presumably going to only agree to a deal with North Korea that is better than the Iran deal.

LEMON: Right.

ZAKARIA: That means North Korea has to destroy all its nuclear weapons. It has to shutdown any plutonium plants. It has to get rid of 99 percent of its enriched uranium, and it has to put cameras, and inspectors for between 15 to 25 years into every stage of the nuclear -- of the nuclear supply chain.

That is the Iran deal, and Trump said that wasn't enough. So that's the baseline. If you're not going to get a better deal than that with North Korea, I don't see how Trump can sign onto it.

LEMON: And how do you -- what is a win? What's victory? So, let's talk about the three hostages which, again, it's fantastic for them that they -- he deserves credit.

But I just -- why do we -- you know, oh, my gosh, that's his job. That's what he's supposed to be doing because it happened in 2009. It happened in 2009 with Matthew Todd Miller and Kenneth Bae, and it was 2014, and in 2009 with Laura Ling and Euna Lee. And it's fantastic that they come home, but that is the job for a president to negotiate things.

ZAKARIA: Now again, give Trump credit for bringing that up. But as you said, the American government has consistently tried to bring people back from North Korea when things like this happened.

When it has been difficult, I think it's fair to say that the speed and ease with which hostages have come back from North Korea usually reflects something about the North Korean government, not the American president.

That is to say, when North Korea is feeling like it wants to be tough, it gets very hard line on these things. When it wants to show a kinder, gentler face, it tends to release these people more quickly.

I think presidents and administrations try consistently. But when they succeed, it's more -- it tells you more about what's happening in North Korea, and that's important. North Korea clearly is coming to the table in a more conciliatory mood than it has been for a long time.

LEMON: You know, I think last night -- and they are pushing back -- he talked about, you know, the T.V. ratings in the middle of the night or whatever. It was very odd. But again, let's give him credit because, you know, he says the fake media, and what he calls the fake media doesn't give him credit. Philip Rucker of "The Washington Post" wrote this. He said, for

Trump, each bold stroke on world stage is like a spritz of Febreze on his narrative of domestic scandal. Do you agree with that, he has North Korea, Iran, new embassy in Jerusalem, what do you think?

ZAKARIA: Look, I think again you have to give him credit in this sense, which is these are things he said he would do. Donald Trump said he would tear up the Iran deal.

[22:35:02] He did it. He said he would deal with North Korea. He's dealing with it in his own way. He said he would move the embassy. In most of these cases I think particularly the Iran deal, he's adding to tensions. He is raising risks.

These are reckless moves particularly with the Iran deal. He's doing it in the face of really almost universal opposition. Outside of Saudi Arabia and Israel, it's virtually impossible to find a country that thinks this is a good idea.

The European -- you know, our closest allies in Europe have argued against it. But if you're a Trump's supporter, and you say these are the things I liked about him, that he was willing to be bold, you know, he is -- he is doing a lot.

I actually think that as I were saying, a lot of that is when presidents find themselves stuck on domestic policy, when they find themselves cornered politically, they tend to do foreign policy stuff because that's the one area where the President has pretty untrammeled authority. And I think Trump likes...

LEMON: He usually squanders that authority. That is a bit...

ZAKARIA: Well, then he shouldn't -- he shouldn't use it unwisely. I think that the Iran -- pulling out of the Iran deal, really -- I mean, for one thing, and again, imagine you're going to North Korea now, and saying we want you to sign onto a comprehensive nuclear deal with me.

And we want you to get rid of all your nuclear weapons. And we want you to agree with all these things. If you were North Korea, would you do it, having just watched the United States renege on the last deal it made?

So if I'm the North Korean leader, I'm thinking, I'm supposed to give up all this stuff permanently, and then the next guy might come in, and change -- withdraw from the deal, put sanctions on in place, why would I do that?

It is so -- I mean, that piece of it is just -- it strikes me as just dumb because you're trying to get to the North Koreans to agree to deal, and you're reneging on a deal simultaneously.

LEMON: Thank you, Fareed. Always a pleasure. "FAREED ZAKARIA GPS," 10 a.m. on Sunday. Thank you, sir. We'll be right back.

[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: The vice president for Student Life at Yale University saying she is deeply troubled by an incident on campus. Early Tuesday morning, a black graduate student fell asleep in a common room of a dorm while studying.

A white student found Lolade Siyonbola, and told her she wasn't supposed to be sleeping there, and called the police. When Siyonbola was questioned, and posted her encounter on Facebook live. Here's part of it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LOLADE SIYONBOLA, STUDENT, YALE UNIVERSITY: I need to go back and finish writing my paper.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have your I.D. on you?

SIYONBOLA: Yes, I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we see that?

SIYONBOLA: Why?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a police call for it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to make sure you belong here.

SIYONBOLA: OK. Let me open my apartment for you so that you can see that I belong here. I don't think there's a need for you to be here. I think you probably need to commit her to an institution. That's the only right...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just have to verify that you are a resident here, and we'll be on our way.

SIYONBOLA: OK, great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So are you a Yale student?

SIYONBOLA: Of course, I'm a Yale student. How else would I get in here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm just asking.

SIYONBOLA: OK, well, you have three other cops here...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this is protocol. And I'm the supervisor, so it's going to be OK.

SIYONBOLA: I know it's going to be OK. I know I'm not in trouble. My ancestors go to this university and I'm not in trouble.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not going to get in trouble...

SIYONBOLA: I'm not going to be harassed because...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn't harassment, ma'am. --

SIYONBOLA: That is exactly what it is.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LEMON: It is harassment. After confirming Siyonbola belonged in the dorm, police say they admonished the white student for calling them in the first place. I want that talk about this with Kierna Mayo. She is the former editor-in-chief of Ebony Magazine, and CNN Political Commentator, Bakarie Sellers, and David Klinger, a former police officer who is author of Into the Kill.

And what people don't understand is this is harassment. Because -- just because someone calls the police on you, it doesn't mean that you're doing anything wrong. And the idea of who do you think you are calling the police on me and the cops come, I can call the police on anyone in the studio.

KIERNA MAYO, FORMER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, EBONY MAGAZINE: Absolutely.

LEMON: And say, oh, someone is doing this and make them show up. It's -- and privilege isn't the word that I want to use. I'll figure out -- I'll figure out the word I want to use. It's -- what do you think?

MAYO: It's so commonplace. This is what we don't really talk about because we only are addressing this when we are seeing it.

LEMON: Right.

MAYO: We have become so accustomed to offense of not having place. That's why this young woman's response was really stand up because what she didn't do was cower to a sense of I don't belong, even when you're in your home, when you're on your porch, at the gates, When you are in your own space, you're not safe from the white lens.

You're not safe from some white citizen, right, presumably law abiding, presumably, deciding that you are some kind of threat. It doesn't matter if you're a woman, if you're young, if you are old. It's just a state of...

LEMON: Here's -- this is the word I was looking for. It's entitled.

MAYO: It's entitled.

LEMON: You're entitled to call the police on someone.

MAYO: Yes.

LEMON: Because you feel uncomfortable. You're entitled to do this because you think that you have some sort of authority in society that everybody should have the same authority in society.

MAYO: It's unfortunate. We can't use terms like white privilege without a lot of white guilt and white angst. LEMON: We need to get over that. This idea of a speech that have

said we need to stop whispering when we say white and black, when we say privilege, we just have to say those things.

MAYO: This is what privilege looks like.

LEMON: Yes.

MAYO: It means I pickup the phone and call the cops on you really for no good reason other than...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: The cops come and demand -- yes.

MAYO: ... in this moment.

LEMON: Right. So according to Yale police, the statement, Bakari, Lolade computer -- has had a computer, books, and notebooks in addition to a blanket, and a pillow on the couch. Why would anyone think she wasn't a student there? And I would imagine you would have to scan your card or whatever to get into the dorm. Why would anyone think that?

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean it's because of the color of her skin, Don. And so, I mean, we've been going through this round and round. I tell everyone that the United States of America -- this is one of the things I'm actually thankful for Donald Trump for.

[22:45:02] We're actually finally dealing with our original sin, which is the sin of racism in this country. And so this isn't just about Yale. This isn't just about Starbucks. This isn't just about Waffle House.

This isn't just about all of these instances where you just simply cannot be black and comfortable in your own skin, or Walmart, for example, where there was an off duty police officer who beat someone, and got sentenced to five years simply because they thought he stole a tomato.

And so, you look at all of these instances, and the reaction that happens simply because of the color of one's skin. But it all boils down to one thing. In this country, Don, African-Americans for a long period of time have not gotten the benefit of their own humanity. And that's what you see.

And so when you don't give people the benefit of their humanity, you don't treat them with dignity and respect, and you fell as that they can be tossed out with chattel, and everything else. And so, this young woman responded appropriately, and she did not put the police in a position where this could have been a worse incident than it was.

LEMON: Just because you don't think someone should be there, because you don't think someone -- because you don't think someone else should be there, you call the police, and then the police demand something of you that they don't demand of everyone.

David, you say police don't have to respond and investigate all calls no matter if it's about a black person or white person. But do you understand what I'm saying about entitlement? Because someone else is uncomfortable, then you have to be put out or you have to have an encounter with an authority that is unnecessary.

DAVID KLINGER, FORMER LAPD OFFICER: I do understand. I would simply say that it is not necessarily racial. One of the things we know from statistics is that members of the black community call the police more frequently than members of the white community, and typically it is a black person calling on another black person, for example.

This case I have no idea why this female student -- the white female student felt she needed to call the police. I don't get that. I think one of the problems we have and one of the things that goes back to what you started saying, people think they need to get authority.

They need to get the police there. Instead of just talking to people, hey, what are you doing here? Well, I live in this same space. I didn't realize that. What's your name? I'm Joe, this, that and the other thing, and move on.

LEMON: She didn't have the opportunity to do that because the woman called the police. I understand that people...

KLINGER: No, no, I'm with you. I'm with you.

LEMON: People call the police on people usually who they are around. So, it's proximity. If you live around black people, then chances are you're going to call the police on black people and usually it's for someone who is actually committing a crime, David. I hope you understand.

KLINGER: No, no, I get that.

LEMON: Just because someone else is uncomfortable with the way I look, or my presence, that I have to have an encounter with a police officer because you are uncomfortable because you don't recognize what everyone has been saying about privilege. Go on.

KLINGER: I'm agreeing with you. What I'm saying is that people generally in our society now, the first thing is call the cops as opposed to let's talk to the person to find out what is going on. That is the point I was trying to make --

MAYO: But particularly among black people.

KLINGER: -- across racial lines.

LEMON: Are you saying -- are you saying the white student should have talked to the black student, is that what you're saying?

KLINGER: Absolutely.

LEMON: But she didn't do that. KLINGER: Absolutely.

LEMON: But she didn't do that.

KLINGER: Exactly. That's my point. Once the police show up...

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: Hold on.

KLINGER: They have an obligation to investigate.

LEMON: Hold your thought I have to get to a break. We'll talk more. We'll be right back.

[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: We're back to a top official at Yale calling on students to work at making the university a more inclusive place after a white student called police on a black student -- sleeping black student in a common area. Back with now, Kierna Mayo, Bakari Sellers, and David Klinger. David, were you trying to get in or was it Bakari?

KLINGER: I was just trying to make a point that one of the issues that we have sometimes in our society is people are too quick to the call police instead of making them their own inquiry. If it's a dangerous situation, of course, you need to call police.

But in a situation where someone is sleeping, it would strike me that if you're concerned make an inquiry, and then go from there. But once the police show up, they have an obligation to conduct an investigation.

LEMON: Yes.

MAYO: Well, in theory you call police because there's a threat. So I wouldn't suggest someone approach someone if you actually felt that police should be called. The question is why did this young woman feel the police should be called.

LEMON: We all know why. And she had done it -- reportedly she had done it before with an African-American male student, the same sort of thing. She thought he didn't belong and didn't understand why he was on campus. And why he was in a place -- he spoke to another network earlier.

But I mean, this is just a -- it's the latest in a string of racial incidents where police are called to handle a perceived threat. Police were called to a Waffle House in California after a black man and his sister were arguing with employees. Here's what happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't understand me. I'm a (BLEEP).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not supposed to be doing that. I'm glad I'm recording this. He's not supposed to be doing that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (BLEEP).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not supposed to be doing that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get your hands off me. Get your hands off me. Get your supervisor out here. Get your hands off me. Get your supervisor out here. Get your hands off me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LEMON: So, Bakari, we have this, and it was North Carolina, by the way. And you can see Anthony Wallace's hands were in the air, and he admits that he took things too far while arguing with employees, but says the choke hold was unnecessary, and police are investigating this, but this comes after Rialto, California, the Airbnb. It comes after Philadelphia and so on. Go ahead, Bakari, what are you thoughts?

SELLERS: Well, this is why David's analysis was somewhat shallow, and just casting the light on the fact that African-Americans call the police on African-Americans, and white Americans call the police on white Americans. What it does though is...

(CROSSTALK)

KLINGER: That's not what I said, sir.

SELLERS: Well, what you actually did say was the fact that African- Americans are more likely to call the police, and they call the police when they do on African-Americans, and the reason that is, is because we live on segregated communities.

But my point is the reasons at that analysis -- the reason that is extremely shallow is because African-Americans when they come in contact with the police are more likely to get an expensive use of force used upon on them than white people.

[22:55:03] And so when you have this analysis, and when you want to know why we have an issue with the contact that African-Americans are having with police, is because usually these things are escalated to a point where African-Americans...

KLINGER: They're not usually, sir. The vast majority of times police do not use any force, and you know that.

SELLERS: That's not what I said. I said -- But what I did say and what the fact is...

MAYO: I don't know that.

SELLERS: And you can research -- no, no. The fact -- the fact is simply this, African-Americans -- when you have an excessive use of force, African-Americans are more likely to be on the receiving end of that than their white colleagues. That's why we have to limit these number of contacts. That's all I'm

saying. That's a fundamental fact. If you want to go -- if you want to look at the statistics and call it what it is, that is what it is. That's why you have someone like this gentleman right now being choked, and I have no idea in what brochure you had to use a force where you choke someone.

LEMON: Hey, David, I want you to respond to that, but I just have a couple of seconds here. Can you please...

KLINGER: Briefly, the point I'm trying to make is that when police officers respond to a situation they have an obligation to investigate, and your other guest is correct. They should not use excessive force.

You and I are on the same page. And my only point was he said -- your other guest said initially that, typically, it escalates to excessive force when it is a black citizen, and I was simply objecting to that because that is categorically a false statement.

LEMON: I just -- the Waffle House in Alabama, the Nordstrom in Missouri where three black teenager teenagers were shopping for prom, cops were called when four black women exited the home of -- Airbnb, the one I mentioned, the women on the golf course, remember that. And it just -- yes, I know.

MAYO: Don, we know these things happen.

LEMON: Yes, I know.

MAYO: OK.

LEMON: Because we lived them.

MAYO: We live them. We live them.

LEMON: I've got to go.

MAYO: We know these things happen.

LEMON: We will be right back. Stormy Daniels -- Michael Avenatti is here. We'll talk about that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)