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Mueller's Team Cannot Indict a Sitting President; Senate Releases Transcripts of Trump Tower Meeting; Trump Jr. Says He Never Talked To His Father About Russia Investigation; Rex Tillerson Takes Aim At Trump In Veiled Attack; Whistleblower Claims Cambridge Analytica Ran Voter Suppression Campaign. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired May 16, 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] (JOINED IN PROGRESS)
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: I'm not sure if you have tea at 4 a.m. but why not. Thanks for watching. Time to hand it over to Don Lemon. "CNN TONIGHT" starts now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
We have breaking news on the Mueller investigation. Rudy Giuliani is telling CNN that the special counsel's team has concluded that they cannot indict a sitting president. And the source goes on to tell CNN Trump's legal team will claim that means the president can't be subpoenaed. We're going to have more on that in just a moment.
We are also learning a lot more tonight about that infamous Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump, Jr. and several Russians in June of 2016. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot.
The Senate judiciary committee today releasing nearly 2,000 pages of interview transcripts with people who were in that meeting, including 232-pages of testimony from Donald Trump, Jr.
But some of the most testimony has to do with Trump Jr. what he says he spoke to his father about. He never spoke to his father about, including conversations between the president and then FBI Director James Comey.
Comey's firing, Comey's testimony to Congress after he was fired, Michael Flynn's firing, the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, congressional Russia investigations, possible pardons for individuals charged, and the president's very evident frustrations with the investigation.
Trump junior saying, no, I never talked to my father about any of that. Really? Given the fact the president talks and tweets about Russia all the time, calling the investigation a witch hunt, and reportedly venting about the investigation 20 times a day, you've got to wonder what they do talk about.
We are also learning that Trump Junior apparently didn't inherit his father's great memory. Remember when he characterized it this way?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One of the great memories of all time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: One of the greatest memories of all time. But his memory must have failed him when he said this aboard Air Force One in April.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then why did Michael--
TRUMP: What else?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did Michael Cohen make those if there was no truth around her allegations?
TRUMP: You have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney and you'll have to ask Michael.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?
TRUMP: No, I don't know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well, Trump Junior seems to have no trouble admitting his memory is not so great, telling senators he didn't remember or couldn't recall more than 171 times in his testimony, including saying he doesn't remember much about that Trump Tower meeting since he, quote, "didn't give it much credence at the time."
And then there's this. On June 6, just three days before that Trump Tower meeting, Donald Trump, Jr. made a phone call to a blocked number. A phone call that lasted 11 minutes. When asked whose number that was, the president's son said he couldn't recall.
But here's an interesting fact for you. Corey Lewandowski testified to the House intel committee that candidate Trump's primary residence had a blocked number. All of that just scratching the surface of those nearly 2,000 pages of testimony, a very thorough investigation, not as a president likes to say, a witch hunt.
All this comes on the same day that Senator Richard Burr, the chairman of the intel committee was just wrapped up its own investigation says this. Quote, "There is no doubt that Russia undertook an under -- an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections."
And there is this from FBI Director Christopher Wray. Watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. PATRICK LEAHY (D), VERMONT: You sit at your confirmation hearing that Russia investigation was not a witch hunt. It's been 10 months here, far more immersed in the details of the FBI. Is that still your opinion?
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FBI: Yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, you heard the FBI director, not a witch hunt. This is an investigation into what may be the greatest threat to the American democracy in our history. And every American deserves to know the truth.
So, let's get to the show now. I want to bring in CNN's Chief National Correspondent, Jim Sciutto, CNN Politics Editor-at-Large, Chris Cillizza, Legal Analyst, Laura Coates, and National Security Analyst, Steve Hall. Sorry, Chris. Got a little tongue twisted there.
CHRIS CILLIZZA, CNN POLITICS REPORTER AND EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Don't worry, Don. I'm glad to be here.
LEMON: It's good to have all of you. Good evening, everyone. Jim, so what do we know tonight about the negotiations between Rudy Giuliani the special counsel's office over President Trump's interview? What can you tell us?
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: So Rudy Giuliani, of course the president's latest personal lawyer, told my colleague Dana Bash that the special counsel's team has informed them they have concluded that they cannot indict a sitting president or that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
[22:04:58] Now, this is not entirely new. That was -- those were the guidelines that were drawn up and followed during the Watergate proceedings, applying to President Nixon. Again, reaffirmed in 2000 regarding President Clinton when he faced that possibility as well.
So, in line with past practice here, it appears that Rudy Giuliani is saying that the special counsel said they're not going to break with past practice here.
Now that, of course, would not leave the president in the clear if the special counsel were to find evidence of criminal wrongdoing because then he would report to Congress, to both parties in Congress, in effect leave it to them, leave it to an impeachment proceeding to carry forward which is of what you had with Nixon and Clinton.
One of the lawyers who helped draw up those regulations in 2000 has been tweeting, though, about this tonight saying that it is also possible the special counsel could go to the deputy attorney general in this case and ask for exception and say, I've got the goods here. I would like to indict. Will you give me that approval? And if the deputy A.G. says no, then they would go issue the report and go to Congress.
LEMON: Laura, I want to bring you in now because a source is telling Gloria Borger that this deals with the subpoena issue the Trump team believes that to justify an interview, it has to be the president's crime. Not somebody else's crime. Are they setting in motion a way for Trump to evade an interview with Mueller, you think?
LAURA COATES, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: They are, but it's not an effective strategy. Indictments and subpoenas are two very separate notions simply because there may be a case that you could not indict a sitting president, which frankly there is a lot of controversy and disagreement about whether 2that is in fact true.
But if you really cannot indict a sitting president, well, that has nothing to do with whether you can subpoena somebody to testify in a case. If the only way you could subpoena somebody through a grand jury was if that person could ultimately be indicted. You would never have a grand jury for any reason.
Most of the time, if not 99.99 percent of the time, you would never actually have a defendant testifying in a grand jury setting. So, if that's the case, everybody else who would be a witness before a grand jury would not be somebody who would ultimately be indicted in that case, but they can still provide testimony.
And that whole concept of above the law and who is above the law, the basis for the court and Supreme Court saying that is the president cannot evade due process of law and can simply not thumb his nose in service to process for things like subpoenas. It's completely an inept argument.
LEMON: It's interesting, so much to talk about, Chris. Because, well, number one, Rudy Giuliani has, I mean, he has sort of presented himself as the floater now. He floats information. We talk about it. And then sometimes it comes true, sometimes it doesn't. But at least he puts it out there in the ethos.
But back to this issue of the indictment and whether or not that they can give one to the president, even without an indictment, Mueller could still make a recommendation to the House of Representatives.
LEMON: A lot of political fallout. They can recommend impeachment, on and on and on. What trouble could that cause for the president?
CILLIZZA: Yes, so I think it's really important and Laura always does a really good job of differentiating here. There is a legal path, right, and that's sort of the indictment path. And then there is a political path and that's the impeachment path.
Look, we're not at either of those paths yet. But one and the other are not terribly related. Impeachment can go forward. That is a political matter, not a legal matter, right. That's what would go to Congress. I think that if you saw hard and fast conclusions from Mueller
regarding the White House, particularly regarding Donald Trump, I don't think the fact -- the legal debate over whether or not he could be indicted is somewhat immaterial, I think, to the political path that it would take.
Are there people within Congress who would say, Bob Mueller, that guy, a bunch of Democrats. Yes, there are, I mean, reminder Bob Mueller isn't a democrat, but whatever. Would it be a majority of the Republican conference and the House and Senate? I don't think it would be. Obviously, Don, dependent on what that Mueller report showed. So, this potentially closes down the legal path, potentially.
CILLIZZA: It does nothing to the political path.
LEMON: Steve, let's turn to these transcripts now, surrounding the Trump Tower meeting. That's one of the biggest mysteries, is that 11- minute phone call that Donald Trump, Jr. made to this blocked number, and he says he can't recall who it was. The question is, was it Donald Trump?
STEVE HALL, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: You know, based on their track record in terms of telling the truth and being completely forthcoming, it's first of all difficult to take Donald Trump, Jr.'s word, you know, whether or not he remembers who he was calling. You know, personally I would think on a matter of something like this, you know, it seems to me that it would be rational and reasonable thing to call his father about that.
[22:09:57] One thing is for sure, though, is that I believe technically it is not going to be difficult for Mueller to actually get to the bottom of this. I think the technology that is out there, at least my understanding of it is we should be able to determine or at least Mueller should be able to determine probably with FBI resources exactly who was called.
So, I don't think it's unknowable. It's probably just going to take some technical digging on the part of the Mueller team.
LEMON: So, I'm wondering, Jim, do you think Mueller has this information? Because the House -- the House is saying well, they want to subpoena and they want to get the records. But the question is does Mueller already have this information?
SCIUTTO: Well, Mueller has tremendous powers to get this kind of information. I think it's a pretty fair bet that he does have access to that information here. I mean, this is a place we've been often in this investigation, right, where we are getting kind of smoke signals rising through the surface, not coming from Mueller himself because that's a tight latched box.
But from say, witnesses, from the testimony, like we got these transcripts today, and piecing that together. I mean, the fact is when Mueller issues this report, if he does, or takes another legal recourse, we're going to know much more than we know today about many of these questions here.
And frankly, on some of them, he's not going to find anything, right, or not going to be able to substantiate anything. But on others I think we can be pretty certain or have a very reasonable expectation that he has more detail than we know now and would be if there is something there-there able to substantiate it.
LEMON: Laura, then there is this bit from Rob Goldstone. He is the middleman who helped organize the meeting. He thought there would be a smoking gun. OK, so, here's what it says.
"After a few minutes of this labor presentation, Jared Kushner who was sitting next to me appeared somewhat agitated by this and said, I really have no idea what you're talking about. Could you please focus a bit more and maybe just start again? And I recalled that she, meaning the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya began the presentation exactly where she had began it last time, almost word for word which seemed by his body language to infuriate him even more."
I mean, it seems to contradict what we previously heard from Kushner who basically described himself as bored in the meeting. What do you think?
COATES: Well, it doesn't entirely contradict it. He said that he was bored. I mean, infuriate is the word of somebody else. But either way, you have somebody who the big controversy in what may be conflicting testimony is how long he entertained this. Whether he was infuriated or bored or not, how long did he remain in the meeting.
He actually said -- and he didn't testify in front of the Senate. He provided written responses. And in part of that, in kind of a curious blind date sort of scenario asked his assistant to text him or call him so he can get out of the meeting because he couldn't -- he found no other way to be able to leave a room that infuriated him or bored him in some way.
And so you have all those things happening. But at the crux of the matter it still places him in the room, receptive and eager to find information. In the absence of that information, infuriated him.
So you have information on why everyone was there, you have yet another person in the Trump campaign in orbit who would have been looking for the information, and yet another reason to question why if a room full of Manafort, Jared Kushner and Donald Trump, Jr., how could none of those conversations lead back to ground zero, the president, now president of the United States? It's completely implausible.
LEMON: Chris, what did you want to say?
CILLIZZA: Don, can I add one other quick thing to Laura's point?
CILLIZZA: I was struck by Don Junior's testimony in which he's asked, did you ever have a follow-up -- let's take Donald Trump out of it just for a minute. Did you ever have a follow-up conversation, ever, with Jared Kushner or Paul Manafort about this meeting in any way, shape or form, and the answer is no, which seems to me a little odd because I would think you would -- let's say it was not the meeting that they thought it was, which by all accounts it was not, according to all this testimony they thought they were getting one thing and got something else or didn't get anything.
Wouldn't you say, man, can you believe that meeting? I mean, I've been in meetings before, not at CNN of course, but I've been in meetings before where you think it's going to go -- you think it's going to go one way and it goes another way. And there is a little bit of commiserating. Hey, let's not get in that scenario again. It struck me in reading Don Junior's testimony odd that they never spoke of it. They sort of leave the room and it's as though it never happened.
LEMON: That was a nice save, Chris.
CILLIZZA: I do what I can.
LEMON: Yes. I want you all to stick around. We have much more to talk about. When we come back, I want to talk about another big revelation from the Trump Tower transcripts, the meeting Donald Trump, Jr. unexpectedly walked into with another Russian.
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: We are learning a lot more tonight from those Trump Tower transcripts especially from the 232 pages of testimony from the president's eldest son and namesake Don Junior.
Back with me now, Jim Sciutto, Chris Cillizza, Laura Coates, and Steve Hall. I got Chris Cillizza off that time.
CILLIZZA: Nailed it.
LEMON: So, Jim -- nailed it. Jim, there is another big thing that we learned in these transcripts that there was another meeting in Trump Tower between Michael Flynn, Jared Kushner and Russia Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Why are we just learning about Donald Trump, Jr. walking into this meeting now?
SCIUTTO: Well, listen, this is yet another case where Donald Trump, Jr. is, at best, inconsistent or at worst misleading. It's a meeting he was asked in his testimony, did he know about any contacts between Trump campaign officials or transition officials and Russian officials. Initially he said no.
Then he said he only knew about one of these meetings after it was reported in the press. The meeting, specific meeting between Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, then Russia's ambassador to the U.S, Michael Flynn, who of course became President Trump's national security advisor, and Jared Kushner. Don Junior claiming that he only learned about that after it was reported about in the press.
But then he recalled that in fact, coming out of the gym, he said, in Trump Tower, he walked into a meeting between Kislyak, Flynn, and Jared Kushner, but said he did not take part. So, another case where he has changed his story, but presumably that final answer arrived on something on the truthful one.
But it was interesting to read the transcripts and see how often he did -- you know, made little adjustments, one might say in his answer to that question.
LEMON: So, Steve, there is also a text message from publicist Rob Goldstone to Emin Agalarov, OK, the son of the Russian oligarch.
[22:20:00] He say, "I hope this favor was worth it for your dad. It could blow up big." That's what he's sent after news broke about the meeting. What's your reaction to that, Steve?
HALL: I think it's quite clear that this is something, the topic of the meeting, the meeting itself was something that was a priority for the Russian side of this meeting. Obviously it was a priority for the American side, too, because we, of course, have Donald Trump, Jr. and several others, you know, saying yes, we were interested in the dirt on Hillary Clinton that they hoped to get.
But it was clear that this was -- this was also focused on from the Russian side as well. One thing that's quite clear, regardless of what questions that come up with regard to the meeting and, you know, what the Russians were really up to. H
He's one thing that I'm pretty confident about it, and that is the senior most levels of the Russian government were aware of this. Probably through, you know, one of these oligarchs or Agalarov or any of these folks. This is not something that they were just freelancing. It was not like, you know, Veselnitskaya said, hey, why don't we give this a shot. I know, let's give them a call, shoot them an e-mail and maybe we can get to see them.
This is something that the Kremlin would have been aware of would have been watching carefully. Because you're not just walking into anybody's office. This is Trump Tower, this is the, you know, potential future president of the United States. This is something that the Kremlin would have been watching carefully in my view, Don.
LEMON: Let's take the 30,000 feet view of this if you look at these transcripts, Chris. When all of this -- does this seem like Trump's team -- does it seem like the willingness to collude but they left empty-handed or they just weren't sure of how to do it? How to connect the dots?
CILLIZZA: Well, what I--
LEMON: Or close?
CILLIZZA: I skimmed -- let me just, by way of context, I skimmed everyone's transcripts. I read Don Junior's full 232-pages.
LEMON: Wow. CILLIZZA: So, I'm speaking primarily from Don Junior's testimony there. What it strikes me as is the story that Don Junior wants out there is essentially that Rob Goldstone was a guy he kind of sort of knew but he thought was a little bit of a flim-flam artist. But they were sort of acquaintances.
So when Rob Goldstone reaches out and says, hey, can we set this up, he's willing to take the meeting because he is interested in the dirt. He may not be aware of the legal, ethical questions there. But he also doesn't know Goldstone has anything.
So, he's trying to essentially say, there were a lot of things up in the air. I was sort of willing to do the due diligence to meet with him if anything serious came up, then I'd sort of deal with the repercussions of it. Nothing serious ever came up.
The issue there, and Jim touched on this, there is a fair amount of inconsistency in the story that Don Junior told to the Senate intelligence -- judiciary committee versus the public one. His public story changed a few times. What he told the Senate judiciary committee under oath has changed and that's where you get into trouble. It's what one do we believe? Presumably we believe the one under oath, but that does contradict several things he said publicly prior.
LEMON: Laura, there is also an e-mail. This e-mail was sent from the mooch, Anthony Scaramucci, shortly after President Trump hired him as the White House communications director. It was sent to Rob Goldstone.
He writes, "I don't officially start until the 15th, Rob. But I just wanted to drop you a line to say if you ever need to pick my brains, then my door is always open. Obviously there is still pressure on all sides, but if we remain consistent and united, I don't envisage any issues we can't ride out."
So, Scaramucci has told other outlets this had nothing to do with Russia. What's your read on this, though?
COATES: This kind of reminds me of what happens when you have a pool of boys and everyone sees a broken window and everyone says, if we all stick to the same story and no one sees the baseball in our hands, none of us can actually be blamed for breaking the window.
This whole thematic thing that's going on here about the notion that all is well that ends well, if nothing came of the meeting, if we can say nothing came of the meeting if our narrative can be consistent, then nobody can point in our direction or give us any or assign any blame.
But that doesn't work when there are crimes that are contemplated in our U.S Code about crimes that involve endeavoring to commit a crime. Endeavoring to obstruct justice. Endeavoring to try to cover up the tracks in a nefarious way.
And so, all the things you're seeing here is a buildup of the anxiety that all the people who were tangentially and intimately related with the Trump campaign were fearing about the meeting being public. And that goes to the heart of the discussion had on Air Force One between Hope Hicks presumably and the president of the United States about how to deal with that anxiety.
All of these things raised the suspicion of Mueller in the criminal probe and it delays it even further because with every contradiction, you probably had weeks to the investigation trying to figure out, OK, well why did you lie about it? What are you trying to cover up? Because, boys, we see the broken glass and there is a baseball in one of your hands. Even if you have the same story.
[22:25:00] LEMON: Yes. OK. That's it. Thank you all. I appreciate that. And Laura, at least you get a Murphy bed.
COATES: I do.
LEMON: I only get a couch. Yes. If you guys want to know what--
COATES: There may be more here.
LEMON: If you guys want to know what we're talking about, go to the Laura Coates on Twitter and you'll figure it out.
Thanks, everyone. I appreciate it.
LEMON: When we come back, Donald Trump Jr. told Congress that he has never talked to his father about the investigation which is hard to believe given the president reportedly vents about that investigation 20 times a day.
LEMON: So in those Trump Tower transcripts, Donald Trump, Jr. revealed a laundry list of things he says he never talked to his father about including the Russia investigation.
I want to bring in now CNN Political Commentators, Ana Navarro, Scott Jennings, and Symone Sanders. So, Ana is here. Why couldn't you guys come here?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Because they're lazy.
LEMON: There's lacking.
NAVARRO: Because Scott doesn't want to -- are you still in Harvard, Scott? Are you guys still in Harvard having a good time?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No. Back in Louisville.
LEMON: All right.
JENNINGS: Harvard sadly is over for me.
LEMON: This is the most expensive phone call ever. OK, you guys catch up, call each other. OK. So, listen, Symone, Donald Trump, Jr. says that he never spoke to his father about the Russia investigation, the infamous meeting at Trump Tower, the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, the Steele dossier. First, do you believe that?
[22:30:09] SYMONE SANDERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: No, don. And neither do the American people. Clearly, the Senate Judiciary Committee didn't believe it. I'm just trying to figure out if the Trumps think we are stupid. If they really think the American people are not paying attention.
Donald trump Jr. and big Don, as I like to -- I like to refer to the President today, I'm pretty sure they've discuss everything. And I find it hard to believe that they didn't discuss the Russians having dirt on Hillary Clinton. This is just laughable.
LEMON: Well, I mean -- Scott, let's remember. This is a weekend of February 17th when President Trump wasn't golfing, and was at Mar-a- Lago. He tweeted over 20 times, going off on Russia, Russia -- the meddling, Obama, the FBI, and more.
Donald trump Jr. and Eric, they were there with their father, they had dinner together. That is according to the Washington Post. So, are we supposed to believe the President was tweeting about many of these topics, but then they all had dinner, and none of this came up?
JENNINGS: Well, I mean, look, none of us were there, so none of us know whether they did, or didn't talk about it. Here's what we do know. Donald trump Jr. walked into a committee room, went under oath, and answered questions.
When you do that, that is obviously a much more serious engagement than just, you know, popping off in an interview, for instance. So, I know both of the fact that before I call someone up...
LEMON: But he retweeted some of his father's tweets that weekend. He retweeted some of his father's tweets that weekend.
JENNINGS: I'm sorry, let me just finish. Before I -- Before I go off, you know, calling someone a liar which in this case would be calling them a criminal, I need a little more. I mean, we can speculate, and we can guess, but we don't know that he's not telling the truth. Now, Bob Mueller may know.
Other people may bring evidence forward that prove the speculation correct. But honestly, when someone goes under oath, and you want to call them a liar, you're calling them a criminal. And I just -- I think it's a bridge too far. I'm not going to get into a speculation game when we just don't know that for a fact.
LEMON: Scott, I understand what you're saying. But by saying -- basically you're saying what are the odds that they didn't talk about it. That's all I'm asking you. If he's retweeting his father...
LEMON: His father is ticked off during the day. They have the meeting together. Are we really supposed to believe that they didn't talk about it? Come on, and just what are the odds?
JENNINGS: Oh, I think -- I think there is a chance that they did talk about it.
JENNINGS: And I think there is a chance he either doesn't remember it, or remembers it differently. And I also think there is a chance that if he's not telling the truth, that will become known, and he'll have to answer for it.
But all we know today is that he went under oath, and said these things, and when you say things under oath, it's pretty serious. And I think we have to lend some credibility to those words because they were under oath.
LEMON: OK. Donald trump Jr. indicated that he wasn't as involved in conversations about the presidency as Jared and Ivanka who of course work in the White House. Does that mean that they are talking to the President about these -- about these things? This is for you, Ana. What do you think?
ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: You know, it reminds me of the song, it wasn't me. It wasn't me.
NAVARRO: Where they go like, the shaggy song where he got caught red- handed, it wasn't me. And you know, that's kind of what this entire thing makes me think about. Listen, Donald Trump Jr. couldn't remember.
I think the Washington Post put out a report today. There was something like 54 things he couldn't recall. I mean this boy needs to take himself some CoQ10, he needs to get some ginkgo biloba, something that helps memory loss, because he's got a serious problem, either that or he's lying.
But this entire discussion is somewhat, I think, premature, and unnecessary because, you know who can actually answer it definitively?
LEMON: Donald Trump.
NAVARRO: And Bob Mueller.
NAVARRO: If he wants to figure out who that blocked number that Donald Trump Jr. called afterwards, he can. They can do that.
LEMON: Don't you think he has that information, though?
NAVARRO: He probably does. So, you know, at some point or another, we may actually know the actual answer to this instead of debating. But with this, I think it's like with almost everything in America today.
If you are a Trump supporter, you live in this alternative world of suspended disbelief. And I think Scott is almost too good for these folks because Donald Trump has no qualms about calling people even in his White House traitors, and liars, and cowards, you know.
Scott is too refined a gentleman for this -- for this crew. He is the one that has lowered the bar on the rhetoric, and on the things that are said, and the insults, and offenses, and the charges that are made.
And so you know, I don't think he should hold anybody else to a higher standard than you do the President of the United States. With everything else, if you're a Trump supporter, you drink Kool-Aid in the morning, you drink Kool-Aid in the afternoon, you drink Kool-Aid at night, and live in suspended disbelief. If you are not, you think there is -- you know, that they're a bunch of lying.
LEMON: That was out of number. Was that a backhanded compliment of the distinguished gentleman?
SANDERS: Well, I would like to underscore.
[22:35:00] NAVARRO: He is a distinguished gentleman.
SANDERS: I would like to underscore that I think that is -- I would like to underscore that I absolutely think Scott is just too kind, and too good for the Trump people. I think -- honestly, I thought it's really important, the fact is we do not actually know.
But the Senate did release this transcript today. I think in an attempt to accomplish a few things. One, to keep the conversation going, to let folks know there were some dubious things that did come out, some questionable things that came out in their questioning of Donald Trump Jr., and they additionally had more questions. They want to call more witnesses.
Two, this could be throwing a bone, if you will, to the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee who have been having trouble with their investigation.
And three, I think they knew we would all be on television talking about it all day long, potentially tomorrow. So, job well done, Senate Dems, you accomplished, I think, what you were looking for.
NAVARRO: But that's actually a bipartisan effort on the Senate, and I think it needs to be recognized, because I really think the way that Senator Richard Burr -- I think the way that they've cooperated in a bipartisan fashion, and took this very seriously in the Senate, sharp contrast to what happened under Devin Nunes in the White -- in the House should be a model to follow, and should be commended. LEMON: So, I have a question before we go to break. I don't want you
to answer it, but was Rex Tillerson -- was he spilling tea today, or was he trolling the President of the United States? Don't answer it.
NAVARRO: He's not spilling tea. I've warned you some lessons.
LEMON: Don't answer. We'll be back.
[22:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson not exactly going quietly after his firing earlier this year. I want you to listen to what sounds like a thinly veiled swipe at President Trump at a commencement address at the Virginia Military Institute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REX TILLERSON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom. When we as people -- a free people, go wobbly on the truth, even on what may seem the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So, back with Ana, Scott, and Symone. So, Symone, is that a shot at President Trump?
SANDERS: I believe it is, but I want the former Secretary of State to get a lesson in throwing shade, or spilling tea, if you will. He worked for the Trump administration, and he was not necessarily a beacon of truth.
Matter of fact, the only reason he's not there right now is because he was, in fact, fired via Twitter. And so if he thinks going out, and giving some very thinly veiled shade to the current administration is going to, you know, trick the American people into forgetting what he did for the last couple months, I just -- I don't think it's a good strategy.
LEMON: Well, the question, Scott, is if that is meant for the President, why didn't he say it when he was there? Why did he take the job? Because the evidence was already there.
JENNINGS: When you're -- when you're in these offices -- when you're in these appointed offices, obviously I think you probably feel somewhat restrained about what you can, and can't say. But the thing about a guy like Rex Tillerson is he's mega wealthy, he's not a politician. He's not intending to be a politician.
No one has any strings on this guy now. And so you can pretty much say what you want to say, which is the danger in swatting people out the door the way he was sent packing. I mean, he wasn't sent in a pleasant manner. He was sent in a very rough manner. He was treated in a rough very way. So what you have out there is a disgruntled former employee who no one can control, and he is going to speak his mind. I wasn't surprised at all to hear what he had to say today.
LEMON: Ana, he said...
SANDERS: There is no shade like scorned rich white people shade apparently.
NAVARRO: That's country club Republican shade, Symone. It wouldn't measure up to our standards, but you know, he's doing all he can, man.
LEMON: Oh, my gosh, this show -- this crazy show.
NAVARRO: What was the question? Do you have a question for me?
LEMON: I have a question. He said Americans have to demand our future be fact based. That seems pretty straight -- it seems pretty straightforward. But in this climate, that's difficult to do, right?
NAVARRO: A year and a half late, and a few dollars short, Rex, really, where have you been lately? Where have you been for about, you know, the 16 months that you were part of this lying pack of, you know, wolves in the White House, and this administration, and being a conspirator to this?
Look, he got treated terribly. He got broken up with on Twitter. You know, if he's going to actually talk truth to power, he's got a great perch from which to do it. He was actually part of the apparatus. He can talk with inside, and internal knowledge, and authority. And as Scott says, he's got no strings. He's rich. He's old.
He's not building a career. He's not building a wealth portfolio. He's got it done already. So this is the time where he could actually do something for his country, do something for democracy. Do something actually to help this administration maybe. And save some proof.
LEMON: He has nothing to lose, and everything to gain when it comes to reputation, and legacy.
NAVARRO: You know what, I think Rex Tillerson should ask himself what would John McCain do, and do that.
LEMON: Yes. So, Scott, you know, we've talked about the President's 3,000 plus falsehoods so far in his administration as reported by "The Washington Post."
The sheer number, though, does this increase the risk of becoming numb to it all? Because amidst a falsehood, a lie, a misstatement, and then people just sort of look the other way.
JENNINGS: Yes, I actually think we're having a crisis of who to trust in this country across the board. I think people sometimes don't know whether they can trust what's come out of the government. They question whether they can trust what's coming out of the media.
They question what's coming out of a lot of major institutions, and you do become numb to it all. And really what you do, I think people start to withdraw into trusting things that are more immediate, more local, more within their vicinity.
And I think that's why we see people now looking to their close friends, their neighbors, their local, you know, communities to find out what may be going on rather than trusting the big institutions we used to.
I think we're as a country getting numb on this, not just from government, but from a lot of major institutions that it wasn't that long ago that we would have never questioned the validity.
[22:45:05] LEMON: The question is why are we doing it? Who is promoting it? Don't you think the person at the top is setting the tone with that, calling the institutions fake news, criticizing the Justice Department, and institutions, don't you think this President has some responsibility in that, Scott?
JENNINGS: Yes, look, I think he is absolutely taking advantage of an environment that was already rising when he took office. And I think he is using it to his political advantage. I think we've been -- there was a rand corporation study that came out this year, Truth Decay.
And it pointed out we've seen an increase in the decline in trust in institutions for a long time. I think Trump actually didn't cause it, but he is certainly taking advantage of it.
There is absolutely no question about it, and he's used it to his advantage in the campaign, and in some ways I think he's used it to his advantage on muddying waters in some way controversies in his administration.
LEMON: I've got to run.
SANDERS: I mean, but...
LEMON: That has to be the last word. I'm sorry, Symone. The President is supposed to be the unifier though. We can all agree on that.
NAVARRO: Supposed to be being the keyword, honey.
SANDERS: Supposed to be.
LEMON: Thank you.
JENNINGS: It's never the -- it's never the wrong time to tell the truth. That's a true story.
LEMON: Yes. Absolutely. When we come back, the man who blew the whistle on Cambridge Analytica for their misuse of Facebook data now claiming the company tried to suppress voting in the 2016 election. More on that, next.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The Cambridge Analytica whistleblower told a Senate today that the company engaged in efforts to suppress voting. I want to bring in now CNN National Security Analyst Juliette Kayyem, a former Department of Homeland Security Official and CNN National Security Analyst Shawn Turner, a former director of communications for U.S. national intelligence.
Good evening to both of you. Juliette, you first. Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee today about the Steve Bannon's goals for Cambridge Analytica. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was one of his goals to suppress voting or discourage certain individuals in the United States from voting?
CHRISTOPHER WYLIE, CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA WHISTLE BLOWER: That was my understanding, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was voter suppression a service that U.S. clients could request in their contracts about Cambridge Analytica while Bannon was vice president?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Juliette, this is stunning charge. What did we learn today?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: So what we learned today is a technique called psychographic profiling that Cambridge Analytica, and any number of data groups used are mostly abroad. What this is being used or turned on the United States.
And so what this is essentially is trying to determine what motivates people to do a certain action. So in my space like counterterrorism, how do people become radicalized? What it is -- what it is that they are watching, that they are reading, that they are looking at online that might radicalize them towards ISIS.
So our understanding after today is that Bannon wanted to turn those techniques that were being used, you know, government contracts, and you know, with the DOD, being used abroad toward populations here, in particular African-American populations.
Because one way we know Donald Trump won was not that he got, you know, just votes for him, but that the votes for Hillary Clinton were less than they need to be for her to win. So why is that? It's because for a variety of reasons.
But one allegation made today is because there was a targeted approach towards the suppression of certain minority votes, which would probably have likely gone to Hillary Clinton.
LEMON: Shawn, our colleague Joshua Green previously reported that Trump -- the Trump campaign used what they called voter suppression tactics leading up to the election.
For example, hyper targeted Facebook ads to remind black voters of comments Hillary Clinton made back in 1996 calling black super predators. Does that sound like the type of voter suppression Wiley was talking about here?
SHAWN TURNER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It does. In fact, if you think about what Chris Wiley said today, he said that Cambridge Analytica was eager to consol discontent, and to take advantage of ethnic tensions that already existed in the United States.
And if that sounds familiar -- it should because it's exactly what the intelligence community determined conclusively what the Russians had done -- had done in their information operation campaigns, and social media space.
So this is -- you know, what I'm really interested here is whether or not there was a connection between the two. But from an intelligence perspective, what we saw -- what we're seeing with Cambridge Analytica, and what we saw with the intelligence community, you know, there's just not a lot of difference here.
And I just -- you know, I've got to say that, you know, the fact that they're happening -- that they're doing this is absolutely unconscionable.
You know, we are used to seeing the political parties manipulate a lot in order to prevent certain groups from voting, but we haven't seen this kind of move particularly inside the United States.
LEMON: Juliette, CNN is reporting tonight that Mueller had subpoenaed the former social media adviser for Roger Stone. An attorney for someone's adviser tells CNN that he believes his client is just a witness Mueller wants to talk to.
And CNN has reported that Stone himself has bragged about having a back channel contact to WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange. Do you think that's what this is all about?
KAYYEM: I do. I mean, Roger Stone can say whatever he wants, but just remember Roger Stone has not been -- has not been asked as far as we know to talk to Mueller and his team. So that's not good for Roger Stone because he's not a witness.
He's something else. And to ask information about his data guy suggested that the contacts between Roger Stone who's sort of been proud of his connections with WikiLeaks are now being examined under one of the theories of the case of the Mueller investigation, which is clearly collusion during the campaign.
And where Cambridge Analytica is also relevant to this is not only is it in the background of what Bannon was doing, it's where he worked. But remember Cambridge Analytica is working for other candidates like they worked for Ted Cruz, the new National Security Advisor John Bolton had used Cambridge Analytica.
And so there's just this hodgepodge of characters, I guess I would say, who had been utilizing data to drive certain behavior. And were they motivated by information that was garnered from the Russians? That's the key question at this stage.
LEMON: So, Shawn, does this tell us anything about where the Mueller investigation, where he's headed?
[22:55:00] TURNER: Well, I think when we look at this subpoena in particular -- you know, I found this to be particularly interesting because what it tells us is that Mueller understands that while this Sullivan guy may have been hired to help with social media, you know, it was interesting that what the attorney for Roger Stone said was that he was hired because he needed to help Roger Stone understand social media.
What that says to me is that Roger Stone may not be that savvy in the social media, and the digital space. And so if he was having some sort of communication with Julian Assange, or with other individuals, it would have been through some sort of secure communication for a app, or career apps, or other secure communication in the digital space.
So that may be one of the reasons why he's interested in talking to him. And it does tell us he really is uncovering every stone to make sure that if there's some aspect of communications with the Russians, or Julian Assange, that he gets to the bottom of it.
LEMON: Every stone including Roger Stone. No pun intended. I'm sure. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time. When we come back who leaked Michael Cohen financial documents? A new report says it was a law enforcement official who claims to have discovered something so worrying, that official release the document.