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Justice Department Report Finds Comey Violated Norms On Clinton Probe, But Was Not Politically Motivated; Cohen Files Restraining Orders Against Avenatti; Lawsuit Against President Trump Pile Up; GOP Leaders Urge White House To Stop Separating Families At U.S. Border; Controversial Immigration Arrest; Propaganda Win For Kim Jong-Un?; Trump Reportedly Grew Irritated From Waiting; Arizona GOP Lawmaker Criticized; GOP Senate Nominees Sought and Received Support for Extreme Anti-Gay Group. Aired 11-12a ET
Aired June 14, 2018 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[23:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: This is CNN TONIGHT. I'm Don Lemon. 11:00 p.m. here on the East Coast. Live with all the new developments tonight.
The Justice Department Inspector General releasing a blockbuster, 500 pages report on former FBI Director, James Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's e-mails. The report concludes that Comey was what it calls extraordinary and insubordinate, saying he flouted department norms and that he failed to coordinate his actions with his superiors at the Justice Department. But it also concludes, that Comey was not motivated by political bias.
The White House dismissing that conclusion and putting it sown stand on the report claiming it points out the political bias of President Trump has been talking about. The current Director of the FBI saying he is disappointed by the report and hinting that some heads may roll.
A lot to discuss this hour. I want to bring in CNN Legal Analyst, Laura Coates, a former federal prosecutor, Jack Quinn, the former White House Counsel under President Clinton and Nelson Cunningham, also a former White House counsel under Bill Clinton.
Good evening. I appreciate all of you being on. Laura, we're hearing the first reaction from President Trump's legal team. His attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was on Fox News tonight and he is reacting to the I.G. report with a few interesting demands.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUDY GUILIANI, ATTORNEY FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP: Mueller should suspend his investigation, and he should go see Rod Rosenstein who created him and the Deputy Attorney General and Attorney General Sessions who should now step up big time to save his department should suspend that investigation. I believe that Rod Rosenstein and Jeff Sessions have a chance to redeem themselves. And that chance comes about tomorrow. Doesn't go beyond tomorrow. Tomorrow Mueller should be suspended and honest people should be brought in, impartial people to investigate these people like Strzok. Strzok should be in jail by the end of next week.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: Laura, do his demands make any sense given what the I.G. report actually concludes?
LAURA COATES, CNN INTERNATIONAL LEGAL ANALYST: Well, it makes sense to further his narrative that there are segments of the I.G. report that bolster's the Presidents assessment that there has been some sort of political bias. That is true in respect the I.G.'s conclusion about Peter Strzok and how he did show s some political bias, but the ultimate conclusion was lost in Rudy Giuliani's comments here, which said he did not actually take that bias, if there was any present, to the ultimate decision whether or not to prosecute.
And that is the way the hook about all of this. It's about what's not been found in the I.G. report, not about the hypothetical would have led the President to bolster his own claim would be. But the other issue here is, the idea you're going to take the I.G. report that was focused on the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe and conflate it with what is happening right now with the Mueller-Russia collusion probe is one that (inaudible) and self-serving and not consist with the fact of the I.G. report. You cannot conflate the two, and Christopher Wray, the current director was very cautious not to do so today in his press conference.
LEMON: I want to tell our viewers that was Nelson and not me. Nelson, I'm suffering. I know how you feel, brother. I'm dealing with it right now. So, should I come back to you, because I wanted to ask you the next question? Are you OK?
NELSON CUNNINGHAM, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: I think you can go ahead.
LEMON: OK. So Nelson, is he saying that Sessions should un-recuse himself unilaterally now and put a stop to this entire investigation?
CUNNINGHAM: You can't un-recuse yourself, because you can't undo the facts that led to your recusal. Jeff Sessions recused himself, because he said he didn't talk to any Russians during the time that he was advising Trump's campaign and it turns out he did on multiple occasions. He can't take that back so undoing that isn't going to happen. Rudy, my old boss -- by the way, Jack Quin is also my old boss. I didn't have the same title he did. I worked for him and I was proud to do that. But if you look at this in 500 pages this report is about the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. It ended months, I think five or six months before Mueller was even named. I don't know what this has to do with Bob Mueller.
LEMON: OK. So, Jack, what do you say, he says he doesn't know what it has to do with Bob Mueller. Do you agree with that?
JACK QUINN, FORMER CLINTON WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL: Yes, I mean, look, if there's an aggrieved person in this report it's clearly Mrs. Clinton. It's quite clear that among other things that the Inspector General found to criticize in the way Mr. Comey handled this was what he called, he characterized as Comey's trashing of candidate Clinton.
[23:05:03] And to make matters worse, you know, when he reopened the investigation and then closed the investigation, he brought all of this -- these charges, which turned out to be baseless in front of the public, which was about to cast ballots in the election. It is incredibly hard to imagine how Donald Trump suffered from Comey's wrongdoing in these regards. You know, again, Hillary Clinton was the victim of Jim Comey's arrogance, bad judgment, and failure to adhere to departmental policies.
LEMON: Yes, So Laura, I got to ask you something, Laura. I need to have a -- sort of a mission for you. Do you have your phone with you?
LEMON: I just emailed you, I want you to respond to this. I'm going to ask Jack the question. Check your e-mail, read it and then I'll come to you next. OK?
LEMON: So, we'll get back to Laura. So, Jack, what do you think was the end game here? Was this Giuliani interview tonight, was it just about performing, you know, on television for Trump, for his base, or do you think it reveals any real legal strategy?
QUINN: No. I think this is more street theater than legal strategy. But it is a remarkable coming from a lawyer who himself and with his client has been saying that they want this investigation to wrap up. These steps are calculated to prolong this. They are calculated to ensure that there is no interview with the President by Mr. Mueller and his associates and to really just stretch this out through the course of the campaign season.
And all of this, you know, nonsense about wanting to get this over is just that. I mean, you can't be making the statements that Mr. Giuliani made this evening and then argue that you really hope this investigation will be over soon. They want to bring in new people. They want to start all over. They like this investigation. They like the street fighting that is involved here, because they think that they are doing well in that format.
LEMON: OK. Laura, you didn't get it a, right?
LEMON: All right. So here it is. I am going to ask you about it and I will ask Nelson about it. Apparently Michael Cohen has filed a restraining order or gag order against Stormy Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti at a court in California seeking to bar him from talking to the press or the public about the case. I'm just wondering if this is likely to succeed. Defendant Michael Cohen, Mr. Cohen will here by and does move exparte for an order restraining plaintiff's counsel of record Michael Avenatti from communicating with the press and or public regarding the merits of this case. And it says, as the court has already surmised Mr. Avenatti's actions are mainly driven by his seemingly unquenchable thirst for publicity and he goes on after that. What do you think of this?
COATES: Well, two things. Number one, exparte is one of the reasons that Michael Avenatti initially took issue with the nondisclosure agreement. He was first made aware that they went to an arbitrator unbeknownst to Stormy Daniels to try to seek that particular non- disclosure agreement to be validated, if that is the signature of Donald -- David Denison aka Donald Trump.
So that exparte part probably (inaudible) of Michael Avenatti, but the second part of it is. That Michael Cohen is likely relying on the statements made by the judge in the New York case where he tried to intervene after there was the FBI raid on Michael Cohen's home, his office and his hotel room, trying to get a literal and figurative seat at the table.
LEMON: OK. Hold it right there, because you have a point. Judge Kimblewood, I am reading it again, Judge Kimblewood, who is presiding over Mr. Cohen's actions in the Southern District of New York relating to materials seized during FBI raids of his home, office and hotel room, the Cohen SDNY action, already came to this conclusion when she recently admonished Mr. Avenatti in connection with his failed attempt to be admitted pro hack vice, ND Cohen SDNY action. Go on.
COATES: Right. Well you admitted pro hack dete (ph), frankly for the purpose of this matter only, but the reason why it is different and why it is a little bit odd to use the logic of the New York court in this case is because the judge in New York said that you don't have standing really to be here. I don't see how the matter before the court today is directly related to your client, Stormy Daniels.
Now, Avenatti's claim has always been I want to protect her interest in disclosure of any taped statements or conversations that may have been made between her prior attorney and Michael Cohen and that would serve to unheard her benefit in the California case. But you see, if the California case were to rely only on the Judge's statements in New York, well, he does have standing in the California case. He would have a reason to speak. But Michael Avenatti does get himself into trouble when he uses the court of public opinion in many ways in lieu of the process of the court of law. And I think that the judge will take issue with that. But not in the same way for New York.
[23:10:08] LEMON: OK. Nelson, so here, this is Michael Avenatti statement, this is via Twitter, he says the motion for a gag order is a complete joke and baseless. Mr. Cohen and Blakely can't deal with the truth, the facts and the law, so they have to resort to unethical meritless motions. This must be their birthday present to Mr. Trump, and then #basta. How do, what do you think of that, Nelson?
CUNNINGHAM: I would say that Michael Avenatti may have been watching to many thriller crime movies over the years. He is going a little over the top here.
LEMON: As simple as that?
CUNNINGHAM: You know, there's nothing -- nothing in what he is tweeting out there that has any bases in the law. By the way, I think he has done a great service by bringing facts forward, by making arguments in public, he is fearless I grant him that. But, I think, when you start -- he is running out his string a bit.
LEMON: OK, before I let you go, quickly Nelson, how do you think this is going to go in the court? Do you think it'll be granted?
CUNNINGHAM: I don't know. Laura knows a lot more about the facts of this than I do. I would think, no. You know, very rarely you tell warriors not to speak publicly.
LEMON: Thank you all. That is a breaking news right in the middle. I'm going to have to recheck your e-mail, Laura. I said that directly to you.
COATES: I like the pop quiz, though.
LEMON: We'll do it in the break so the whole world doesn't get your e-mail. Thank you all I appreciate it.
When we come back, President Trump and his three oldest children facing a massive lawsuit. Remember when candidate Trump called the Clinton Foundation a criminal enterprise, the latest on the growing number of lawsuits, this one alleging the Trump family ran their foundation and charity like a personal slush fund.
[23:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: Tonight the White House is slamming a new lawsuit against the Trump family foundation. The New York Attorney General says the President and his three adult children broke state and federal laws for more than a decade. So let's discuss now. CNN Contributors, Michael D'Antonio, he is the author of "The Truth about Trump," and Walter Shaub, he is the former director of the Office of Government Ethics. A perfect team to talk about this. Good evening gentlemen.
So, Michael, here is what the New York Attorney General says, the Trump foundation was little more than a checkbook. That is a quote for payments for Mr. Trump. It says this illegal conduct has been going on for more than a decade. You've been covering Trump for years. Does that surprise you? What do you think?
MICHAEL D'ANTONIO, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Not at all. This is -- has been going on for many years. The board of Directors for this foundation hasn't met in two decades. So what kind of operation is this, that there's no staff, board of Directors never meet and a lot of its money goes to activities that benefit the founder of the foundation, Donald Trump? So this is not a surprise. It doesn't really seem political to me as the President alleges. It seems like a normal suit brought against a foundation that is in trouble.
LEMON: They're saying that this a crony of the former, you know, Eric Schneiderman.
D'ANTONIO: Who's not running for the office? She is not a politician. Schneiderman is long gone, so that is just pixy dust that the President is throwing in the air. LEMON: So, Walter, let us talk more about the lawsuit, because it
alleges the President is using the foundation to settle legal obligations including $100,000 payment to settle claims at his Mar-a- Lago resort. They even have a hand written note, apparently, by Trump authorizing this. What kind of legal trouble could the President be facing here?
WALTER SHAUB, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, he is actually facing three different lines of attack. There's the state lawsuit, which is going to go the way litigation goes. It's going to be a bloody knock-down- drag-out fight. He is tweeting that he is not going to settle. I doubt that this New York Attorney General is worried about that. She seems to think she is got a pretty strong case, because that was a barnburner of the lawsuit she is filed. She also referred this to both the IRS and the FEC.
And there's some potential trouble there, because there are very strict rules on taking advantage of the tax exemption for nonprofits. And you have to file a number of government forms where you're attesting things are true subject to very severe criminal or civil penalties for filing false statements. And then you've got the FEC allegations that in some ways overlap the IRS allegations, because they both -- in both instances she claims that the non-profit was coordinating with the campaign, which is not permitted under either IRS law or federal election law --
LEMON: Why did you call it a barnburner of a lawsuit?
SHAUB: Just because it makes some really strong allegations, and as you said it's got the note and I think it's packaged fairly aggressively.
LEMON: OK. Michael, I just -- I want you to remember that January 2016 fund-raiser that was for the veterans that Trump held instead of attending the GOP debate. Remember that? This lawsuit says the foundation raised more than $2.8 million that night, but it was really a Trump campaign event. And you can't do that with a charitable foundation.
D'ANTONIO: Well, it quite obviously was a campaign event. Even at the time that it occurred this was opposite debate that the President then candidate Trump decided to skip. And so he was broadcast almost intend with a debate. This programs are cutting back and forth. The fact that this was the foundation engaged in politics is quite evident to everybody who's observing this especially the Attorney General of the state of New York.
LEMON: Excuse me.
D'ANTONIO: I feel for you, Don. I think as Walter was talking one of the things that came to mind for me was this quote from Cory Lewandowski's e-mail, where he is asking can this donations -- these series of donations to $500,000 total to five different groups in Iowa being made at a key moment in the campaign. So this is a campaign manager asking for these favors to be done by the foundation. I think as Walter observed this is a really difficult sticky situation the President has found himself in.
LEMON: You know, Attorney General led us to the IRS and the FEC, you want to talk to me about that, Walter.
SHAUB: Yes, so, the IRS has the authority to for instance revoke their status as a non-profit to ban the president and two of his kids or three of his kids rather from having any involvement in non-profit for 10 years.
[23:20:12] There are significant penalties under both the IRS and the FEC angles. The IRS complaint has two components. It alleges that he just simply used this as a personal piggy bank for himself, settling claims and buying himself a gigantic portrait to decorate one of his clubs with and also this allegation of coordinating with a Presidential campaign.
The FEC allegation also includes two different components. There's coordinating with a campaign and trying to influence an election. They've got some very good circumstantial evidence of both. I think the stronger complaint is the IRS one and the aspect of the FEC one that alleges coordinating. It's a higher standard to prove that they intended to influence the election. But, again, it certainly laid out a case for it. And we'll see what the FEC and the IRS do.
LEMON: Michael, hopefully I can get through this, but here's the President tweeted today. He said the sleazy New York Democrats and their new -- now disgraced and run out of town A.G. Eric Schneiderman, what we talked about before, are doing everything they can to sue me on a foundation that took in $18.8 million, right and gave it to charity more money than it took in, $19.2 million. I want to settle, I won't settle this case. But he always settles, right?
D'ANTONIO: He settles hundreds of times. Big Trump University lawsuit that he settled for $25 million in California and New York indicated that this bravado that he expresses, I am not going to settle anything, I never settle. He told that to me. He said, well, don't slip and fall in my lobby, because if you sue me I'm not going to settle. It's kind of preposterous, but if anyone knows sleazy it's Donald Trump. Just about everything he touches involves self-dealing.
Look at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. and the possible violation of the emoluments clause of the constitution. Look at the fact that this foundation paid Mar-a-Lago to hold an event that was a charitable event. So it just -- it goes on and on and on. And if there is a sleazy way to capitalize on any institution he is going to find a way to do it.
LEMON: I'm going to cut this a little short. I'm not dying. I'm OK. I've just got a crazy tickle.
D'ANTONIO: You will get better.
LEMON: OK, thank you all. We'll be right back.
[23:25:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LEMON: Tonight some Republican leaders urging the White House to
reconsider its policy of separating parents and children at the border. Their fear this divisive issue could hurt the GOP in the upcoming mid-terms. And administration's hard line tactics are not just happening at the border. Jose Luis Garcia, who emigrated from Mexico and has been a permanent resident of the U.S. for nearly 50 years was detained by immigration agents at his California home this week for a misdemeanor from nearly 20 years ago. So, I want to bring in now his daughter, Natalie Garcia and Immigration attorney Mackenzie Mackins, who is representing Mr. Garcia. So good to have both of you on. Thank you so much. So, Natalie, you doing OK?
NATALIE GARCIA, DAUGHTER OF JOSE LUIS GARCIA: I mean, I'm trying to hang in there right now with all the stress and pretty exhausted.
LEMON: So let's tell your story a little bit. It's Sunday morning. Your father is watering his lawn. He is sipping a cup of coffee. So take us through what happens next.
GARCIA: I was awakened by him screaming out my name in distress. I could hear him pretty distressed so I ran out, looked through my window and went and saw that there was, you know, eight agents -- eight officers arresting him. He was in handcuffs. So I ran out to see what was going on. And the 2first thing I asked was, you know, what's going on, and they said we have a warrant for his arrest, so I asked for the warrant. They did not show the warrant to me, because they said it was an administrative warrant not a criminal warrant. I still asked, I don't care what it is, I want to see it. They did not show it. They refused to --
LEMON: Do you know why he might be arrested?
GARCIA: They actually did say that it was due to a conviction -- a misdemeanor conviction he had in 2001.
LEMON: So do you know when your father is now? Were you able to communicate with him?
GARCIA: I saw him Monday. He is at the LEC facility in Orange.
LEMON: So MacKenzie, you're the attorney here. So I want to read this statement from ICE and saying in part. Databases reveal that Mr. Garcia has passed criminal convictions that make him amenable to removal from the United States. Mr. Garcia is currently in ICE custody pending removal proceedings. So, he was convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor charges. Its 18 years ago. But if he completed his sentence, how is his status in this country at risk?
MACKENZIE MACKINS, IMMIGRATION ATTORNEY REPRESENTING JOSE LUIS GARCIA: Good evening, Don. So, basically what's happening now to Mr. Garcia and across the country is the Trump administration is enforcing these hateful policies to target individuals who have past criminal records, and they're taking them into custody even if they're not considered dangerous to the community, and they're enforcing these hateful policies. And that is what it comes down to.
LEMON: Here's what I -- what people are going to be asking here. Did he commit a domestic violence, was that indeed true? That he did --
MACKINS: So, listen, what happened is there was a domestic dispute between Mr. Garcia and his wife over 18 years ago that has since been resolved with the criminal courts. And now immigration is trying to enforce that conviction, that old conviction to remove Mr. Garcia from the United States and take away his green card.
[23:30:00] And it's really just insanity to pluck these individuals off the streets who are in our communities, in our homes, in our jobs, and separate them from their families with no purpose. I don't understand why now Mr. Garcia was picked up.
LEMON: And that's the only thing that they're citing is that one from 18 years ago. They're not citing any other offenses, nothing else but this one.
MACKINS: That's exactly right.
LEMON: If he has made restitution, that's what I asked. Then, what's the problem? Why would they be removing him from his home?
MACKINS: Right. So, under immigration laws, if someone has a conviction, they could be removable or inadmissible to the United States.
So now what immigration is doing and what's new to Mr. Garcia's case and many others is that immigration is going through their databases, finding these people even with old convictions like Mr. Garcia, picking them up, putting them in detention facilities, where they're sitting there, not for days like people think, but weeks and months before they can see a judge and ask to be released on bond to cite their case to stay in the United States.
So, it's really this huge scheme to pick up immigrants and try to remove them from the country.
LEMON: So, Natalie, you rely on your father to care for your daughter and you said that enabled you to have a full time job. What are you going to do now?
GARCIA: I mean, at this point, my fight is for my father right now. You know, anything -- I can't work. My fight is for my father. I want to focus on him and getting him out and, you know, this was so unexpected for my family, that I can't even explain it to my own daughter, I can't even explain it to myself.
So, I -- you know, my focus right now is getting my father out. And if I have to knock every door from the senator to the governor's office, I will.
MACKINS: And Don, I think it's important to also note, Mr. Garcia is a grandfather and a father. He works three jobs. He supports his family. He has a grandson in active military duty, and ICE is still targeting people like him in the community.
LEMON: I want to ask you, Natalie, because we've been talking about this issue in the one that is happening on the borders. How do you feel when you see little kids separated from their parents at the border right now?
GARCIA: I think it's devastating. I'm 32 years old, and I'm devastated to have my daughter -- my dad be torn apart from me, and I can't even imagine these little kids how it ruins their life because it ruined my life and I'm of age, you know. And I can't really imagine how this can effect their life, you know, beyond this. It's devastating.
LEMON: Well, Natalie, thank you for coming on. Mackenzie as well. Will you guys please keep us updated and let us know what's going on with this case?
GARCIA: Thank you.
MACKINS: Thank you so much and I'll be on any time to update you.
LEMON: Thank you. We appreciate your time. When we come back, did you ever think you would see a U.S. president saluting a North Korea general? Well, you have. What the White House is saying about it, and is it a propaganda win for Kim Jong-un?
[23:35:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The White House defending the president's decision to salute a North Korean general at the Singapore summit even though he was briefed at saluting military officers from other countries is not protocol.
I want to bring in now Tim Wu. He's a professor at Columbia University Law School and the author of "The Attention Merchants," and CNN Political Commentator, Matt Lewis. Hello, gentlemen. Welcome to the program.
Tim, the video of the president saluting the North Korean general, it's being used as a propaganda tool in North Korea. Here's what the press secretary said about it today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): Tell us why the president saluted the North Koreans when he was over in Singapore?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: It's a common courtesy when a military official from another government salutes that you return that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: They had to have known that it would be used as propaganda, correct?
TIM WU, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL: Yeah, I agree. It's not a courtesy -- it's a common courtesy for our allies. It's not a common courtesy for enemy nations. And so, you know, for some reason, Trump has got this whole thing where he's doing a lot of propaganda work for our enemies. You know, he's doing Russia propaganda, he's doing North Korea's propaganda. I just don't know quite how he sees that within the mandate of the presidency.
LEMON: The image, Matt, is especially jarring because no U.S. media organizations were given access to the meeting. Do you think it was a mistake for the president here?
MATT LEWIS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yeah, definitely. I don't know if it was -- so like he was allegedly briefed that this is not protocol. Donald Trump, does he pay attention to the briefing, does he realize the implications? I mean, if someone tries to shake your hand, have you ever had like a homeless person tried to hand you something, there's a tendency to take it, you know.
If someone tries to shake your hand, not shaking their hand back would be weird. It looks like Donald Trump was essentially being played here, you know, that he was setup for their propaganda purposes.
He fell for it, but then again, I don't know that he even cares that much, right? Because why does he care about propaganda in North Korea? He doesn't care about human rights over there. I don't think he cares about the regime being toppled or anything like that.
[23:40:00] He doesn't think that's going to happen or else he wouldn't be, you know, having this meeting anyway. So, this is guy who either is being played, who is just unprepared, or just doesn't care about the implications.
LEMON: Well, I'm just wondering why the White House would, especially the press secretary, would spin it that way. Remember the whole thing, Obama is bowing to other leaders of other countries and it's like, OK.
LEWIS: Yeah, it was totally -- this fits into the category. But now it's like a three-ring binder full of -- binders full of --
LEMON: Binders full of -- inappropriateness, hypocrisy.
LEWIS: If Obama had done this, what would we be -- what would I be saying right now?
LEMON: It will be binders full of hypocrisy. I think that's a good thing. And what would you be saying? You should not have done that.
LEMON: So I think you should be consistent as a whole.
LEWIS: And I am.
LEMON: Yeah. So Tim, there also were the flattering images of Trump and Kim and the bizarre video produced by the NSC. Did Kim get a propaganda boost from this as well, do you think? WU: Absolutely. I think the whole thing ended up being this is incredible propaganda gift to the North Korean government. That's what I was saying. I think it's strange that Trump is doing so much propaganda work for other nations right now. You know, if he wasn't working for the United States, you would think he was working for them.
I think they saw it as a win, win win. They got nothing to lose here. They got to be on a coequal standing with the United States and we even gave payment (ph) for the hotel rooms as far as I can tell.
LEMON: Listen, this way other administrations and other presidents chose not to do this?
WU: Yeah. I mean, exactly. It's a big reward. You get to stand on equal stage. You know, the weird thing is, everybody said this, nothing actually happened. There is some possibility we look back in six months and be like, what was that? Was that just like a prime time special? Like, you know, nothing really happened.
LEMON: It's a great photo-op for, I guess. But, I mean, standing there with the North Korean flag and then Kim Jong-un and shaking hands and -- I don't know. I mean, is that good?
WU: Well, Kim Jong-un -- it's great for Kim Jong-un. I think he's gotten his -- I mean, he is probably better known to a lot of people in the world than half the Democratic field right now. He has got more media attention, more propaganda value, everyone saying how great he is, you know, the peacemaker. It's an extraordinary gift by the United States.
LEMON: Matt, I want to ask you about The Washington Post tonight reporting that Trump was antsy and bored, those are quotes, after arriving early and he wanted his aides to demand that the summit be up to Monday. The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and Sarah Sanders had to talk him out of it.
According to two people familiar with the preparations for the event, here is what he says, we're here now, the president said, according to the people. Why can't we just do it? Trump's impatience coupled with a tense staff level meeting between the two sides on Sunday left some aides fearful that the entire summit might be in peril.
So Matt, can you imagine how that would have played out on the world stage?
LEWIS: Yeah, it's bizarre. And I wonder if this -- if there is going to be more -- if this is an accurate story, but it totally could be. It probably is. Look, I mean, I think this is guy who in many ways is child-like, in many ways he lacks impulse control.
And I think that the salute is like a microcosm of that, you know, not having the discipline to stick to a plan to go in there and say, this is what they are going to try to do. We are not going to give them that coupe. And I think the fact that he wanted to move up the thing last minute, spur-of-the-moment, very capricious. Look, you can argue that this entire thing was a PR coupe for North Korea. But I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, OK? So, maybe I probably wouldn't have decided to sort of elevate the dictator to the coequal with the president. But you can make an argument that talking to our enemies and our adversaries is always good.
But Trump didn't have to go out of his way to talk about what a great guy Kim was and the salute, though.
LEMON: OK. I just want to ask Tim. I will give you the last word. Tim, I kind of thought that you would say that, but you could have done that and not have a photo-op. You guys could have met and there could have been no cameras. He could have, you know, neutral territory, they kind of did. But I mean, Trump went a lot further than Kim Jong-un.
WU: I know. Which makes you think once again it was about him. You know, it's almost -- a lot of what he does is basically fundamentally about ratings.
WU: So weird to run a president see that way, but, you know --
WU: Season two is getting a little slow. We only have a meeting with -- and it's not going to mean anything and will do anything, but it's great ratings that many want on the next show, whatever that is.
LEMON: There are people out there who believe it's a win and that they denuclearize.
WU: I'll wait until I see that. I think six months from now, I'm going to bet six months from now, they're like, whatever happened to that meeting?
WU: What did that lead to? Nothing. So many things lead to nothing.
LEMON: Because nothing matters.
WU: Because it's just a show.
LEMON: Thank you. When we come back, there aren't enough white kids to go around. I'm quoting that. That's an exact quote from an Arizona lawmaker. Why he said it, and how he's defending himself, next.
[23:45:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
LEMON: The Republican Party calling on a Republican state lawmaker to resign for saying immigration is an existential threat to the U.S. and for saying this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DAVID STRINGER, REPUBLICAN MEMBER OF ARIZONA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Sixty-percent of public school children in sate of Arizona today are minorities. That complicates racial integration because there aren't enough white kids to go around.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LEMON: I want to bring in now CNN Political Commentator, Charles Blow and Republican Strategist, Shermichael Singleton. Gentlemen, good evening. Welcome. What do you make of this representative saying that there aren't enough white kids to go around, Charles?
CHARLES BLOW, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This idea that --
LEMON: He's discussing integration in schools.
BLOW: Right. But the idea that it is an existential threat, that whiteness will one day be overcome, is at the root of pretty much all of the racial tension that we've experienced in America.
Right after the civil war, three or four states in the south, a majority of people in the state were now free and were black. It created an existential threat and they responded with the utmost amount of terror, conflict, and oppression.
[23:50:03] That is how -- because whiteness has been defined in this very fragile way, meaning anything that has any bit of something else in it is no longer white. When you define and make it fragile, it is fragile. And all of the changes in society threaten it.
And when it feels threatened in America, the history of America is that when whiteness feels threatened, it respond in a vicious way. And this is part of this. And so he is not necessarily an anomaly. He's an anomaly because he's saying it.
BLOW: There are a lot of people who are putting pressure on immigrants, putting pressure on minorities not to be able to get to the ballot because they feel that threat.
LEMON: But I hear people and you said he's not an anomaly, but I hear people in their every day lives saying well, you know, the public schools here, they're mostly Hispanic and the white kids are not here and on and on and on.
And I always wonder like what's at the bottom of that, why are they saying it, because we're going to become minority/majority country fairly soon, so things are going to change.
LEMON: Shermichael, he has responded. Stringer has responded. He calls the criticism fake news bait saying, my political opponents have taken 51 seconds out of a 60-minute speech to try to distort my message and mislead voters. What do you think of that statement? SHERMICHAEL SINGLETON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think, Don, just to sort of piggyback off of some of Charles's statements, I think what we're seeing here is driven honestly by a sense of alienation and you're starting to see a change of modernity in the country as it relates to a growing demographic group. And you have a population that has for the most part enjoyed a significant amount of privilege by being the majority.
And so as a conservative, what I see is, what, 35 to 40 percent of the country that are demanding a radical change, essentially i.e., the result Donald Trump, they want to see the system, they want to see government, they want to see the way things are governed in our country, the process, if you will, as a whole flipped upside down and turned over.
Why? Because they fear if that does not occur, whatever authority, if you will, whatever influence that they have that they have previously maintained is at risk, is in jeopardy. And I think by virtue of his comments, it's a prime example of that right at face value.
LEMON: Wanting to keep the status quo and wanting to keep things the way they are, the schools, the neighborhoods and all that, is that wrong?
SINGLETON: I -- Go ahead, Charles.
BLOW: I think it absolutely is wrong if your motivation is that you don't want the other to have the advantage.
LEMON: So also today, CNN's KFile is reporting that the GOP Senate nominees on North Dakota's Kevin Cramer, Virginia's Corey Stewart, they received support from an anti-LGBT group that links homosexuality to pedophilia and defends conversion therapy.
Is this the type of group the Republican Party wants to align itself with? Shermichael, that's for you. You're a Republican.
SINGLETON: No, no, no, Don. I think we have to respect the intrinsic value of all human beings. We are all different. We don't have the right, if you will, to sort of judge people.
In this country, we do believe that people have the right, the freedom of choice to be who they want to be, as long as they're paying their taxes, they're respecting the law, they're not pushing forth their values on other people.
It's not my responsibility to influence my beliefs or push my beliefs, I should say, on someone else. And I think the Republican Party has to distance itself from this type of rhetoric. The country, again, is becoming more and more diverse.
And you cannot continue to isolate and ostracize people who are different because what will end up happening is that we'll find ourselves essentially in a box, Don, unable to outreach and target anybody else.
LEMON: I have a short time left. This is from a spokesman for Congressman Cramer, saying, let's be clear. Congressman Cramer doesn't support the teaching of history with any special emphasis on any particular group. History is history and should be taught as such.
Additionally, Kevin does not think transgender people are at all comparable to pedophiles. This is a gross misinterpretation of the survey question.
Representatives for Stewart have not returned a request for comment. Is this who the Republican Party you think has now become?
BLOW: If they are this, then they are in trouble, because it's a kind of a caveman way to approach society. Listen, queer people have been in civilization for as long as there have been civilizations. And if you look at the polling data as far back as we can find it, there's a clear march in social issues toward more openness, more freedom, more acceptance.
You can think of it like the stock market. There are times when it goes down. It can even crash. But if you look at the long history, the arc of it is up. And the arc of acceptance on issues like this is always towards the better.
LEMON: Yeah. Thank you, gentlemen. I appreciate it.
SINGLETON: Thanks so much, Don.
LEMON: That is it for us tonight. But before we leave, here is a preview of a special series CNN is running all next week.
[23:55:01] UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): All next week, a special CNN series, our anchors profile champions for change.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We travel the globe telling stories of change makers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This time, we are joining our (ph) mission to make a difference.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Giving time to the causes that are dear to our hearts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And sharing the stories of the champions leading the charge.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice over): It was for a great cause. That's motivating.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have to help them in ways that helps them see this is not how your life has to be.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an opportunity to pay it forward. To do something that is going to be meaningful.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are the kinds of students any community would be blessed to have.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It just warms your heart that you can help someone with food.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rock on.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am the champion, can't hurt me now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Join the journalists of CNN as we work alongside "Champions for Change." All next week. Presented by Charles Schwab.
[24:00:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)