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Voters Now Head to the Polls; Philadelphia Eagles Snub POTUS' Invitation; Trump Disinvites Eagles, Doubles Down On Anthem Fight; Sanders: My Credibility Is Probably Higher Than The Media's; Judge Rules Trump Can Be Deposed In Defamation Suit. Aired 10-11p ET
Aired June 5, 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)
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN HOST: That's it for us. Let's get it after again tomorrow night. "CNN TONIGHT" with Don Lemon starts right now.
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: Jake Tapper is much better looking than you and you do like to hear yourself talk. They -- I mean, I think they were looking at our text messages there because I said I see you all the time.
CUOMO: Please carry on.
LEMON: I did. Great show. Thank you. Good seeing you. This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon.
It is election night in America. On the most important primary night so far this year, the biggest races are in California where the polls will close just about an hour, one hour from now, and CNN will be watching it for the next four hours for you.
The results there in California will have a huge impact on whether the Democrats could retake the House in the 2018 midterms. And you are going to want to stay with us for all those results and make sure you stay right here.
But first, I want to turn to the White House, the war on the NFL. President Trump threw himself a party today. Threw himself a party after nobody else would come. In a classic example of taking his ball and going home, the president escalated his fight with the NFL by scrapping a planned White House visit by the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. After he learned an embarrassingly small number of players and coaches would actually attend.
Replacing it with what he called a celebration of our country on the South Lawn today. But disinviting the Eagles doesn't mean there'd be no protest.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop hiding behind the armed services and the National Anthem.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you very much, everybody.
TRUMP: I appreciate it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: The president ignoring shouted questions from reporters.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, do you have any messages for the athletes, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying that the football players are not patriotic, sir, is that what you're saying?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you have a meeting with them, sir? Will you meet with the athletes, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you meet with the athletes and talk to them?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So the White House calls all of this a political stunt and they are absolutely right. This is a political stunt but not by the Philadelphia Eagles, by the president of the United States, the man who said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag to say get that son of a (muted) off the field right now. Out, he's fired, he's fired.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Like I said, this was absolutely a political stunt. A political stunt by the president. A source close to the White House tells CNN that President Trump plans to continue to pound the NFL anthem issue through the midterms. Continuing to thrash players mostly black players for their protest over police abuse against people of color.
So why is the President Trump doubling down? Because he believes that it helps him with his base.
A CNN poll after President Trump made that crude remark about the players calling them SOB's found 49 percent saying that pro athletes should be required to stand for the anthem, 47 percent said they should not be required to stand. That is well within the margin of error.
So, Americans are pretty much evenly divided on this issue. And the president, rather than trying to find common ground is more than willing to exploit that division because he believes it helps him politically. He's more than willing to ignore the facts, to ignore the truth if he thinks that helps him.
But facts matter. So, here are the facts. Not one single Eagles' player took a knee during the regular season. Not one. Not one single Eagles player stayed in the locker room during the anthem. Not one. So who is being disrespectful here? Who is stomping all over the values we hold dear as Americans? The values, the freedoms that American heroes have fought and died for.
You know who is doing that? It's the person who's lying to you about the Eagles' players. The person who's lied to you well over 3,000 times in the past 501 days. The person who is demanding forced patriotism such just as autocrats have done for the centuries. That is none other than Donald J. Trump. the President of the United States.
Now I want to bring in CNN Political Analyst, April Ryan, CNN Political Commentator, Scott Jennings, and Republican Strategist, Rick Wilson. Good evening to all of you. Welcome to the program.
Rick, I'm going to begin with you. Sarah Sanders says the Eagles they are orchestrating a political stunt. But if you look at this in the big picture here, the president lying about the Eagles taking a knee during the anthem, then Sarah Sanders attacking the team today, who is orchestrating a political stunt?
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Listen, if I may quote, "Donald Trump sits on a throne of lies." These are people built a political show today in order to throw red meat out there in a little clash in the culture war so that Donald Trump can distract people from all the other things that are rising around him, with Michael Cohen, with Paul Manafort and everything else.
[22:05:04] And you know, Sarah Sanders has become someone who stands at that podium every day and says one of two things. I refer you to outside counsel or whatever other things that are coming out of her mouth that's moving are lies.
And this was an outright lie. The Eagles players have not knelt from the field, they have not engaged in protests. And you know, it should hopefully teach the NFL owners a valuable lesson. They bent the knee for Trump and he still cut their heads off, he still humiliated them, he still went after them. He still made them characters in this political stunt that he and Sarah Sanders execute today.
LEMON: April, so you asked Sarah Sanders if the president understands the reason some NFL players, and you also pointed out that none of the Eagles players decided to kneel. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
APRIL RYAN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Does the president aware that this is about--
SANDERS: Stephen? Sorry. Stephen, go ahead.
RYAN: -- police-involved shooting and not about disrespecting the flag? Is the president aware--
SANDERS: Stephen, you have to go ahead.
RYAN: I'm asking is the business -- there's an underlying issue that just keeps going back disrespect of the flags and soldiers. There are black and brown soldiers that fight in the military as well who feel that taking a knee bringing an attention to police involved shooting is something this White House should deal with. Is the president aware that taking a knee is about police involved shooting?
SANDERS: The president has made his position crystal clear and that is about--
RYAN: This is about--
SANDERS: I let you rudely interrupt me and your colleague, I'm going to ask that you allow me to finish my answer.
RYAN: I'm sorry you're not answering my question.
SANDERS: I'd be happy to answer if you would stop talking long enough to let me to do that.
The president has made his portion crystal clear on this topic. He feels strongly that standing for our national anthem is something that we should do, something that matters to what makes our country special and unique and what sets us apart.
He's not going to waiver on that. He's not going to apologize for it. And frankly, more than 70 percent of Americans agree with him on that matter. If you go back to what the original intent was this has been made a political argument of which the president is not going to back down from and he's being clear on it.
Stephen, last question.
RYAN: Will he deal with--
SANDERS: April, I've addressed your question. I'm not going to continue to engage with you. Stephen?
RYAN: I understand (Inaudible) telling people they have to stand. Will the president deal with the issue of police-involved shooting? SANDERS: I'm going to deal with the issue of addressing your
RYAN: But it's a real question. Can you take it to the president and come back to us, please?
SANDERS: Stephen, go ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Well done, April. I wish there were people in that room--
RYAN: Thank you.
LEMON: -- who would do that every single say. And you notice a guy after you said I'm always happy to give my time to a colleague, which I thought was which was great.
So, April, do you feel that this White House is purposely misconstruing the meanings of these protests and doing it on purpose?
RYAN: Yes, yes, I do. I've watched over this period of time that this president -- this 501 days that this president has been in office. You have to remember, you know, he has said that it's disrespectful and he's called out the NFL. The NFL is not doing the beating of the president, basically saying that all the players must stand.
But after that, after that piece, what's next, they talk about there are -- they are the administration, the president for all America. Well, you have a segment of America that has created a fervor, not within just the black community but the brown community, and other communities and the white community about what we're seeing, police- involved shootings. And they're not addressing it.
I asked the president in October about this when he did his press conference in the Rose Garden standing next to Mitch McConnell, he did not answer. He said it was about disrespecting the flag.
But after you get to the disrespect and kneeling versus standing you still have this issue, what are you going to do about it? You know, it's still a very big issue and we're seeing it happen over and over again.
And, Don, not just a few weeks ago where we had a situation with a young man who was shot 20 times or more by a police in his grandmother's backyard. And then we had the verdict come down about Alton Sterling. I mean, you know, Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it was a local issue.
So, and then we still have the issue of Eric Gardener who cried out 11 times, I can't breathe in New York. His mother is looking for justice and that's still in limbo. Their issues on the table and this White House is one to be the one to answer it, and they have not answered it.
LEMON: That is the big question, why are they not worried or concerned about police brutality, they should be. I couldn't believe she called you rude, because obviously, I mean, she haven't seen--
RYAN: I'm not rude.
LEMON: -- or Jake Tapper or Sam Donaldson.
LEMON: I mean, that's the way the briefing used to be all the time that was the conscientious--
RYAN: Let me -- yes.
LEMON: -- and adversarial relationship and now everyone wants to be friends with him. Why don't -- what -- hang on, Scott, I'm going to get you in here and I'm veering off a little bit. What happened to the press corps, why don't they do that anymore, why don't they do what you did today?
[22:10:01] RYAN: Don, I'm going to say this to you, and my fellow colleagues may get mad at me, I don't care. But here's the bottom line, I came in to the White House when Helen Thomas was the dean of the White House press corps working for the UPI. Ann Thompson was there, Sam Donaldson, Bill Plant, and so many other were there who would press, they would bang on that door--
LEMON: So why don't they do it?
RYAN: -- if the door was locked. They would challenge them. You know what, I want to say this and I don't care if people are angry. I've been there 21 years today too.
LEMON: OK. Say it.
RYAN: Two days.
LEMON: See you so soon.
RYAN: Here's the bottom line, many of the -- many of the -- many of the people in that room want to be friends with these administration folks, be it any administration. There is a friendly adversarial relationship and they're scared that they will not get information or they'll be talked about.
RYAN: So what.
LEMON: We're going to talk about that a little bit later in the show.
RYAN: It's about the American public and giving information to the American public.
LEMON: I'm glad you said. We'll drill to that a little bit more. I got to get to Scott in.
RYAN: It's the truth.
LEMON: Scott, the White House says today's event was cancelled because it expected low attendance. But the president tweeted this out today and he says, "Staying in the locker room for the playing of our national anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling." What is kneeling have to do with attendance?
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, I think the reason they cancelled the event, according to what I read from our own Kaitlan Collins, was that the White House thought just a couple of days ago that some 80 Eagles were coming, their coaches, players, trainers and others, and then at the last minute they were told fewer than 10 people were coming and it was mostly coaches and trainers and very few if any players.
And so I'm not sure the president had much of a choice but to cancel the event, how do you have a Super Bowl event with the players if there are no players? If this president knows how to do anything it's produce a TV show. The cast of this particular show was the Eagles and the cast wasn't going to show up.
So, I don't know -- I don't know if they had much of a choice once they found out of the low attendance.
The president's views on this are well known. I happen to believe that the tension between the police in this country and the African- American community is one of the most worrisome civil society problems we have. We cannot have huge swaths of our population that feel like they are being targeted by the people who are commissioned to keep us safe. It is not an acceptable condition.
But the president, as Sarah said he's made his feelings on this national anthem issue known and I'm sure he felt disrespected by the fact that he thought the Eagles were trying to pull one over on him by pulling out of their participation at the last minute.
I think, frankly, Don, there is a way to look at this where everybody got what they wanted. The president politically got to inject the national anthem issue back into the bullet stream of our conversation.
And let's be honest, the Eagles players who want to draw attention to the racial injustice issue, which are real, look at what we're talking about tonight. So there's a way to look at this where everybody got what they wanted here. Maybe in some way everybody is a winner from their own point of view.
LEMON: Hey, Rick, I just quickly hear, it doesn't matter. What if just one player shows up? I mean, why would it matter? And you had a lot of people there already today. Why does it matter how many players show up?
WILSON: Look, Donald Trump is about spectacle. He is about the picture. He is about the frenzy of the visible and so he would want that wall of players surrounding him because by some associated property he feels like suddenly he's a Super Bowl player and the picture is good and the image is good.
He didn't want to be standing there on stage with, you know, half a dozen people who were incidental, you know, maybe trainers and coaches and not the stars of the team. But you know, you have to ask yourself, why do they chose not to do this? And I think a lot of it came down to team solidarity.
I think Scott has got a good point. I mean, I think these guys want to make that -- the players want to make that clear that this is an issue that is not something -- the president has tried to make it about merely about the flag and the pledge and the anthem, but, you know, for them it is also about a peaceful civil protest and an expression of an issue that is incredibly contiguous and horrifying in this country.
And it's something that the White House, you know, precedent both sides has not been hesitant to blow the dog whistle in this country a few times over the years. And it doesn't escape my attention that he's used every word but uppity to describe them.
And he has been -- there's been an incredibly, you know, charged atmosphere around this president on matters of race in the beginning. This would be something where he could be mindful about it. He could acknowledge the issue that's underpinning it but he won't because he wants the social warfare issue.
LEMON: I want to keep you guys around. Stick around everyone.
When we come back, President Trump demanding forced patriotism from the NFL. But, is my way or the highway the American way?
[22:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: So, as much as President Trump seems to hate the NFL, he loves NASCAR. Now, I wonder what the difference is between these two sports.
Back with me now, April Ryan, Scott Jennings, and Rick Wilson. So, Scott, President Trump tweeted today, "NASCAR and champion Martin Tuex, Jr. were recently at the White House today. It was a great day for a great sport."
So, just bluntly, Scott, because this is how we talk here. The president has said this issue has nothing to do with race, but he frequently aligns himself with NASCAR which is predominantly white, and anyone with two eyes can see that the NFL and the NBA are majority black so how can the president claim otherwise.
JENNINGS: Well, I think the president wants people to show up when they're invited. And I think that if the Eagles' players have showed up to this event and not pull out at the last minute, they would have had the event. Now they could have made any statement they want--
LEMON: Scott, I'm going to give you plenty of time but let me just say this. Let me just say this. No, I'm going to let you finish. Hold on, hold on. I just want to tell you the New England Patriots not all of them showed up as well last year.
JENNINGS: But more than just a couple of water boys showed up. And that's what about to happen with the Eagles literally, a couple of water boys were going to show up for this event.
LEMON: Go on, go on.
JENNINGS: And so, I guess from the president's perspective why wouldn't you want the players to show up?
LEMON: And there are reports that the Super Bowl MVP quarterback is going to show up.
JENNINGS: Look, I put together an event for George W. Bush in 2007 with World Series champions St. Louis Cardinals. You know who didn't show up? Albert Pujols, the best player the most well-known player on the team, and we knew he wasn't coming and we went ahead and had the event and it was fine because everybody else was there.
So one or two guys could not show and it's fine, but the entire team boycotts I don't know what kind of event you expect the president to have.
[22:20:00] LEMON: OK. But not with just event what he's done with the entire NFL and NBA players who want to protest police brutality or want the criminal justice system fix or criminal injustice system. So, how can he claim otherwise, it's not just about this one event?
JENNINGS: Look, I think the president frankly would be wise to take a step back here and realize that what his administration is doing on criminal justice reform may be in some alignment with what some of these players want.
I know they are feuding and I know the president thinks it's helping him politically. But there's sometimes a way to zig when they think you're going to zag.
I heard some conversation on this network tonight about the possibility of a broader conversation with some of these athletes. To me, that is the perfect pivot here. Let's take a deep breath, let's stop feuding with each other and let's talk about how we can advance our agendas where we can overlap.
LEMON: That requires leadership.
JENNINGS: They are not going to agree on everything but there's a way to move forward here.
LEMON: That requires leadership. And it's hard to move forward when the president is -- you know it's political strategy, because he said, let's put this up.
"This is a very winning strong issue for me. Tell everybody you can't win this one. This one lifts me." This is from a deposition from Colin Kaepernick about his grievance case against the NFL that this came out. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones testified that the president told him that.
So, I mean, it's a political stunt to begin with. And to say that if anything otherwise is just simply not true.
And speaking of political stunts, let's remember this. Vice President Pence flew, April, on tax dollars, taxpayer dollars to Indianapolis, it's the last season to attend the 49ers game. He and his wife left within minutes of arriving after some players kneeled during the national anthem which is basically a known quantity. At what point does this go too far?
RYAN: This whole thing has gone too far, Don, it's just gone way too far. Because what it is doing is it's dividing is nation. And you know, a president is considered a uniter, this is dividing the nation.
Because the issue is police-involved shootings, and the narrative has been taken to be about a disrespect of the flag, a disrespect of the soldiers, and disrespect of the anthem.
But listen to this. Not, you know, certain groups of people don't corner the market of being soldiers, you have white, black, Jew, Gentile, Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, transgender, soldiers, you got people who in policing, you got all type of people who are police, there is an issue that need to be dealt with.
And instead of just focusing in on this, they o need to also deal with -- yes, we respect and love our country. But there's also an issue -- and I'll never forget talking to Martin Luther King the III. He said President Trump wants to always give his book out like give it to the pope, he needs to read the book.
Because he said if his father were alive he believe -- he believes he will be on the side of those taking the knee. Because Dr. King was someone who believe in making the comfortable uncomfortable and putting -- shining a bright light in dark spaces.
And this issue with police-involved shootings with black and brown Americas is still a dark spot in this nation. And Jeh Johnson, the former head of homeland security in the Obama administration said, he said that when you have tensions between the community and police it's a national security issue because both sides don't feel like they should trust one another.
RYAN: If you see something say something. Who's going to say some-- (CROSSTALK)
LEMON: I'm running out of time, April.
RYAN: Stop ramifications all over the place.
LEMON: I want to get Rick in the next segment.
RYAN: I'm sorry.
LEMON: No, it's OK. So Sarah Sanders -- and you're passionate about it, we like that. Sarah Sanders was asked, Rick, about how this compared to the Supreme Court ruling in favor of a baker who turned away a gay couple. I thought it was a fantastic way of framing this which the White House came out in favor of by the way. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: The president doesn't think that this is an issue of simply about free speech. He thinks it's about respecting the men and women of our military. It's about respecting our national anthem and it's about standing out of pride for them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: So why, Rick, support a baker's right to free speech but not the NFL players right to free speech to freedom of expression as they want to do during the national anthem and also free speech or expression not to show up at the White House if they don't want to?
WILSON: Once again, Don, I've got ascribe it to the White House dog whistle that Donald Trump has manned so studiously this in his course of his administration where it's not a coincidence that this is an issue that affects African-Americans.
It's not a coincidence that this is a president who has not exactly hit the marks when it comes to being the president of every American. And you know, when you have the both sides issue hovering over this White House incident, it's never been resolved. Not anywhere near anybody's satisfaction.
You know, he's going to always be under the gun on this, he's going to always be -- he's going to always have a deep suspicion by Americans broadly about his intentions for this and this is obviously -- you know, it is by description now, by his own words, a stunt, a tactic, a play.
[22:25:04] And so, I think it's a very cynical one, and I think that, you know, he's cherry picking the rights and freedoms that certain people and certain races of people should have in this country. And we did a lot -- we fought a war about that. So I think he's got a real -- he's got to come to Jesus on this but I doubt he'll ever heed the call.
LEMON: All right. Thank you all. I appreciate it. I love the conversation. See you next time.
JENNINGS: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: When we come back, the former player and army Green Beret who convinced Colin Kaepernick to take a knee during the anthem. And a former Philadelphia Eagle, I'm going to ask them both what they think of the president's war with the NFL. We'll be right back.
LEMON: So, the White House says the president is standing up for the national anthem by disinviting the Philadelphia Eagles but not one player on the team took the knee last season. That's important to point out.
So, what is this really about? Let's discuss this now. Former Philadelphia Eagle Joe Kelly is here, and former player and Green Beret Nate Boyer. So good to have all of you on.
Nate, thank you for your service straight out of the gait.
NATE BOYER, FORMER UNITED STATES ARMY GREEN BERET: Yes.
LEMON: And gentlemen, thank you both for coming on this evening. Joe, I'm going to start with you because you're a former Eagle. The White House says the Eagles decided to abandon their fans for a political stunt. So as a former player there, how would you respond to that?
[22:30:09] JOE KELLY, FORMER PLAYER, PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: I think, once again the president has shown that shown something his bully tactics as opposed to really understanding what guys have been trying to say for over a year. And he's one again changed the narrative, and made it about the flag, made it about the anthem, made it about the disrespect for the military, the disrespect for the police.
And then I can guarantee you that there's not one player, current or former player, that is disrespectful towards the military, that does not hate police. You know, I guarantee you 75 percent of the NFL players have relatives, my grandfather fought in World War I. So, to make it that narrative, he's just trying to appease to his base.
KELLY: You know, it's the same base. You know, like I said these are the same guys who -- and people who still believe that Barack Obama wasn't born in America. So, you know, he's -- the team wasn't going to show -- most of the team wasn't going now anyway, but you know, as he did with the Apprentice show, he had to get in front of it, and he had to save face --
A lot of --
KELLY: -- rather than, you know --
LEMON: There are a lot of people -- about half of the country believes that the players should stand about -- its 49 or 47, so that's well within the margin. So there are a lot of people who don't believe that Barack Obama was born in Africa. I mean, they actually believe that, no, he was born here.
And they still believe that -- I mean, this is -- this is a contentious issue, but, Nate, I have to ask you, because the White house Keep citing the national anthem, right, as his rift. And you are the one -- by the way, none of them took a knee during this season.
You are the one who convinced Colin Kaepernick to kneel rather than sit while protesting during the national anthem, and I thought this was very impressive when you could -- because you wrote a letter. You wrote a letter to Trump, Kaepernick, the NFL, and America. In it, I thought it was fascination.
You said I believe that progress and real change happens in this world when you reach across the divide, you build a bridge, you swallow your pride, you open your mind, you embrace what you don't understand, and ultimately you surrender. What do you think of all this going, because that is not happening right now? What do you make of all this?
NATE BOYER, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER: Yes, it's frustrating. I think -- you know, and I said this before, it's extremely frustrating as a veteran, and as a war fighter. No matter what war you fought in, or even if you are in a time of peace, to serve your country, especially overseas though, and then come back to such a divided place where we're constantly hung up on these issues.
And we get stuck on the details that aren't the real issues, and it just hurts, man. We still got men and women fighting over there, I've lost a lot of friends of mine, and many of them, to their own hands back here because, you know, maybe because that are not getting the care that they need, and maybe it's just somewhat a product of the division, and the hatred that's in our country.
I mean, it's a virus, you know, and it's really frustrating. So that's what -- what's what hurts more than anything. Because, you know, as a soldier, what I did -- part of what I did overseas was fight along side people that had a different flag on their shoulder that believed in a different god.
And ultimately many had fundamental differences, but I had to respect them, I had to treat them a certain way, and understand that they can still be my brothers in arms. We can still fight along side one another for a common goal, and you know, make progress -- make progress, and make change. We're capable of that back here, too.
LEMON: So I said this earlier to Chris when we were talking to each other the air -- Chris Cuomo. I said that Colin Kaepernick was in a sense compromised because he was sitting. You had a conversation with him, convinced him otherwise, there was a compromised for him to take a knee, which people in the military understand, according to you as well.
It's respectful to take. You do it for fallen soldiers. You do it on other occasions. It is a respectful act to do. Did you learn something in your exchange with Colin Kaepernick? Do you -- do you believe that it's disrespectful for people who want to kneel during national anthem?
BOYER: I personally don't believe that, but I also don't speak for the entire veteran community. There are many men and women that disagree with me. And that is also their right, and something that they fought for, and something that the flag and anthem were supposed to stand for.
BOYER: So, personally, I thought what was important about that conversation, about that middle ground that we met on was, you know, Colin straight up told me, I'm not going to stand until I see some of these changes, until things are in motion. You know, whether those goals were measurable at that time is not really what's important.
[22:35:02] What's important was, you know, he was taking a hard line there, and I wanted him to stand. But I wanted him to stand because he felt a sense of pride, he felt like he should. I don't want people to stand out of obligation, or do anything out of obligation. I wouldn't want people to fight for my freedom out of obligation.
So Through that conversation, you know, I thought the fact that he was willing to give a little, and adjust showed he was willing to listen. And that's going to make me listen to somebody when I know that they care enough, and are sensitive enough to me, and something that concerns me, and so that's what I was important, not the kneeling itself, just the compromise.
LEMON: What's important to know about America, about our constitution, about what you pointed out, you were fights along side with other folks, the team members, Joe, you were, you know, playing along side of it from all different backgrounds, all different cities.
LEMON: We have a choice in America, that's a part of the reason that Nate -- a big part of the reason that Nate was fighting over there for our freedoms that we could -- if we want to stand --
LEMON: -- we could stand, if we want to kneel, we can kneel. This is America. This is land of the free home of the brave. So, I just have to ask you, you know, there's Malcolm Jenkins on the team who is questioning the President's motivations, and on, and on. There are a lot of players out there. Where do you want to see this go?
BOYER: I mean I --
LEMON: This is for Joe.
BOYER: Oh, I'm sorry. KELLY: So, my thing is still for the President to actually try and understand, when we talked about the differences, and the divisiveness, the tone that he has set in America. You know, listen, he -- Kim Kardashian had this talk to, or seen this show, in two or three weeks, she was meeting with the President of the United States.
And here, we are as African-American professional athletes, and for people to think that because we're professional athletes that this thing doesn't happen to us. So, you know, here, you guys, you make -- you know, Colin assigned to $100 million, what is he complaining about? You know, that does not cushion you from the realities of America.
You know, I can speak for myself, you know, we played in Super Bowl 23, and after that, I'm from Los Angeles, California, and I go home, even though I'm with the 49ers, and it was a great experience, I get home, and I was stopped by the police four or five times.
I had one incident, driving through Beverly Hills, I had the helicopters, I had four or five police officers cars surrounding me, got out, put their -- put guns to my head, helicopters shining on me because they said that I fit a description.
They got me out of the car in the rain, handcuffed me, and make me --- told me to get on my knees, it's pouring raining. And I said man, I'm not getting on minis because it's pouring raining. He put the gun to my head. So obviously, you know, listen to my mind there, you know, I got down on my knees, and listen to him, so they --
LEMON: Not to cut you off, in the essence of time, you're -- listen, that's awful, and that happens to a lot of men of color, and others in this country. And listen, we need to do it whether it has to do with African-Americans, whites, Hispanic, or whatever, the issue of police brutality is real.
And there -- we always have to carry to their great police officers out there, but as in any organization, there are some bad folks there. This White House -- this administration should be concerned about police brutality because they represent all citizens, even the ones who did not vote for them. Thank you both.
KELLY: Yes. Absolutely, yes.
LEMON: I'll spend all evening with you, but I got to run because I'm running up against time here. Thank you, Joe. Thank you, Nate.
KELLY: Thanks, Don.
LEMON: Thank you. When we come back, this is what Sarah Sanders thinks of the press.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Frankly, I think my credibility is probably higher than the media's.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Two reporters who deal with this White House every day join me next.
[22:40:02] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: What such a moment from the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders today claiming that her credibility is higher than the media's, accusing reporters of spending too much time attacking President Trump, and trying to tear her down.
So let's talk about this now with CNN's Jim Acosta. He is our chief White House correspondent, and CNN Political Analyst Brian Karem, the executive editor of Sentinel Newspapers. This is fascinating. Good evening now. So, I just want to play this, Jim, because Sarah Sanders got really defensive when she was asked why Americans should trust what they hear from this White House. Play it.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN CHIEF WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Sure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SANDERS: I don't know how many times I have to address this, but I work every single day to give you accurate and up to date information. I'm going to continue to do that. Frankly, I think my credibility is probably higher than the media's.
And I think in large part that's because you guys spend more of your time focused on attacking the President instead of reporting the news. I think that if you spend a little bit more time reporting the news instead of trying to tear me down, you might see that we're working hard trying to provide you good information, and trying provide that same good information to the American people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Tearing her down? Is she missing the point here? I don't think anyone is trying to tear her down. We are trying to get at the truth. Why is she taking this so personally, Jim?
ACOSTA: Well, you know this is -- this is unfolding in a bad way for Sarah Sanders. It seems like we're getting to the end, maybe of her time here at the White House.
You know, she just was struggling over the last couple of days to explain this false statement, or lie, whatever you want to call it, that the President did not dictate this memo to New York Times, about his son's Trump Tower meeting, turns out that he did.
And she was repeatedly peppered with questions about this, and she just isn't answering the question. The way she's answered the question was to 2say I'm providing the best, most accurate information that I can, and you guys are trying to tear me down.
But she's being asked about false statements. It was just a few weeks ago when I asked her, are you lying or were you in the dark about this payoff to Stormy Daniels that Rudy Giuliani revealed.
And I think, Don, with her doing over these last few weeks is they have been sort of trying to clean up these lies that they have told the American people in the past, and its blowing up in their face in the briefing room.
[22:45:09] LEMON: Brian, you've got a lot of attention for calling Sarah Sanders out in the past. Is the briefing room getting more contentious now? It's look like it is.
BRIAN KAREM, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it will tell you, I left her with this question today after she said what she said. I asked her, what color was the sky in the President's world, because there is such a disconnect from reality in that press briefing room that its actually -- I've never seen anything like it, and I've been sine -- you know, coming and going since Reagan.
You know, when April tried to ask her question today, I jumped in and said, hey, answer the question. She was trying to avoid a very serious question, and at the same time she will give you non-answers, or nonsensical answers.
And what Jim was talking about, she had avoided that question for at least two weeks. And the question I asked her was like, all right, maybe you got false information, are you sorry you gave us false information? She won't answer that question.
The fat of the matter is, is this White House -- I think they view that press briefing as gee, what's today's episode is going to be like. And it's controlled, it's staged, and they don't want to provide information.
It was what Rudy Giuliani said last night on Chris Cuomo show, when he said look, when we had to give them facts or wrong information to Mueller, that's when they gave it. That's when they believe they have to be factual before a court of law, and they don't understand that the President of the United States plays so much larger audience. And by gosh, he owes us some answers that we haven't got.
LEMON: So, Jim, you tweeted this out today. And I'm just an incident bystander here watching. I think we had this conversation very early on in this administration. I think you and I did on the air.
LEMON: You said one way to address a briefing is for reporters to stick together when the press secretary cut somebody off. Ideally we could, and should insist on answers when somebody is cut off. We don't do that as much as we should.
The problem is there are so little time, and so many pressing questions. I spoke with April earlier tonight, and I mean, I'm wondering if more reporters are sticking together when Sarah Sanders tries to evade questions, or just abruptly stop someone, and point to the other person, I think the next person should ask the question, or as the other reporter said today, I gladly yield my time to my colleague.
KAREM: Steve Portnoy from CBS.
ACOSTA: Yes, why not, and I think, Don, your recollection is right. This happened at the infamous Trump Tower meeting, or press conference when President Trump, at the time President-elect Trump would not give me a question, and called me fake news.
The suggestion at that time, and we've been hearing it every since is why don't you reporters stick up for each other in the press conference that's in briefing room.
And if he's not going to take a question, or Sarah's not going to take a question, or cut you off, then somebody else picks up the question, and presses the Press Secretary who ever on that issue. And I think we saw some of that today. And I think we got some pretty good results.
LEMON: That's great.
ACOSTA: Remember, the none answers are as revealing as the answers. And what Sarah's been doing over the last 48 hours has been giving us none answers. And I do think that what we're seeing, Don, more and more as fewer briefings in a compressed time.
So you are having maybe one or two briefings a week, and the lasting 15 to 20 minutes. Under Obama, it would be over an hour, or hour and a half sometimes. And so, the reporters had behooved us. I think in many cases just to pick up where the other reporter left off until they finally give us some answers. We might not get as many questions answered, but we may get more answers.
LEMON: I got to go. I got to go. We'll have to continue the conversation. I'm sorry about that.
KAREM: Not to worry.
LEMON: Thanks a lot guys. Continue to do the right work.
KAREM: Got to see you.
LEMON: Thank you very much. When we come back a judge's ruling today that the President can be deposed in court -- can. Will that actually happen? A former White House Counsel joins me on that possibility next.
[22:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: A legal setback today for President Trump who is being sued for defamation by Summer Zervos, a former Apprentice contestant. Joining me to talk about this, Jack Quinn, a former White House Counsel to President Clinton. Jack, thank you so much. Good evening.
JACK QUINN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL TO PRESIDENT CLINTON: Glad to be with you.
LEMON: So a New York judge ruled today that President Trump can be deposed in a sexual harassment case brought by the former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos. How concerned -- how concerned should the President's legal team be, and the President?
QUINN: Well, if the President wants to know how concerned he should be, he should just give Bill Clinton a call. You know, this is concerning thing. The President is going to have to testify, in my judgment, just as he will with Mr. Mueller.
The courts are not going to allow a President to simply say he's above the law. This nation -- we fought a revolution to establish the principle that no one is above the law. This is nation of laws. And from the Nixon case to the Clinton case when those people -- when presidents have evidence that's vital, they have to give it.
LEMON: Yes. So President Trump is facing the Mueller investigation, the investigation related to Michael Cohen, and the Southern District of New York lawsuit from Stormy Daniels, and a suit from Maryland, and D.C., accusing him of violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution. If the President is deposed in this Zervos case, could it affect any of the other cases that were up there on the screen?
QUINN: Well, you know, the first thing that comes to mind is that the President can entertain trouble if he's not truthful in providing that testimony. Remember that's what tripped up President Clinton when he perjured himself in connection with the Paula Jones litigation.
LEMON: So his attorney -- Trump's attorney Marc Kasowitz argued that the President can't be tried in a state court because of the supremacy clause in the Constitution. Is he right?
QUINN: No, he's not right. He can be -- he can be required to provide evidence in state courts just as he can in federal courts.
LEMON: He also said in court today that the other accusers of the President are irrelevant in this defamation case. What do you think about that?
QUINN: I don't know how the judge will rule on that. I mean in cases like that, you know, it's conceivable the judge would find that a pattern of conduct is of sufficient evidentiary weight that it should be allowed in. If that's the case, then testimony might be allowed from people with similar claims.
[22:55:02] LEMON: In the short time we have left, I want to ask you about this. Former FBI Director Andrew McCabe requesting immunity from the Senate Judiciary Committee in exchange for testifying at an upcoming Congressional hearing. I mean, that hearing will focus on how FBI and Justice Department officials handle the investigation in Hillary Clinton's private e-mail server. Is that a fair ask?
QUINN: Of him -- is it fair for him to ask immunity?
QUINN: Sure. I mean if he can get immunity in return for his testimony, there's no reason why he shouldn't try to get it. I'm not entirely sure why he wants it, whether he's afraid that his testimony might be inconsistent with something he may have said under oath at a previous time. But, you know, there's no harm in asking.
LEMON: Do you think he'll get it?
QUINN: I can't answer that. I don't know that the committee will be willing to grant him immunity.
LEMON: Always a pleasure, Jack. Thank you so much Appreciate it.
QUINN: Glad to be here. Thanks.
LEMON: We'll be right back.